Jalapeño

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Botanical Name: Capsicum annuum

Spice Form: Ground, Green, Red, Diced, Granules

Origin

Jalapeno originated in Mexico. One of the most common chili peppers, jalapeños are green when picked and are usually used while green, but jalapeños will turn red as they ripen, both on the plant and after they’ve been picked. They can be eaten when red, too, though they’re no hotter when red, but their flavor is somewhat fruitier and less grassy. Jalapeño peppers are medium-sized chili peppers with a mild to moderate amount of heat. Many people think of the jalapeño as a very spicy hot pepper, but in terms of the Scoville scale (measurement of spicy heat), the jalapeño is merely mild to moderate. Most people can enjoy a jalapeño, it’s one of the great culinary peppers in the world.

Culinary Use

Jalapeños can be roasted, pickled, filled, or stuffed, making for a wide range of culinary options. Jalapeños stuffed with cheese, breaded and deep-fried are a popular appetizer. Jalapeños can also be pickled and served as a condiment. In addition, jalapeños are widely used in making salsas, sauces, and bottled hot sauces. Jalapeño peppers can be dried and smoked, in which case they are called chipotles. Chipotle chilies can be ground and used as a spice. Jalapeños may not be the fiercest of chilies but they lend a nice spark to marinades, jellies, and cheeses. Try them raw, roasted, lightly sautéed, or pickled and notice how the heat level and flavor subtly changes with different preparations.

Cultivating and Harvesting

Direct seeding in the spring should occur once soil temperatures are above 60?F, wh
ereas direct seeding in the fall should occur approximately 120 days prior to the first frost. For jalapeño growth specifically, the combination of hot days (85?-95?F) with cool nights (65?-70?F) provides the optimal environment for high fruit yield. For spring jalapeño planting, harvest will occur in June. For fall planting, harvest will begin in October and last until the first frost. Time until harvest will also vary depending on whether jalapeños were grown through direct seeding or transplanting. Harvest for direct seeding crops will occur approximately 110-120 days after planting, whereas transplanted crops will be ready after approximately 75-85 days.