Chile Peppers: Adding Heat to Your Garden

From the cool and mild bell to the scorching-hot habanero, there's a pepper for every palate.

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The heat in a chile pepper is found along the crosswalls and is quantified using the Scoville scale, which measures how many units of dilution it takes to eliminate a chile's heat altogether. A sampling of some of your favorite peppers: orange habanero, 210,000; tabasco, 120,000; jalapeno, 25,000; Long Slim cayenne, 23,000; pasilla, 5,500; serrano, 4,000; bell, 0. The heat of a chile used to be determined by taste, but today pepper researchers use high-performance liquid chromatography. It "tastes" the peppers and analyzes the components that produce heat.

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