Pequin Chilli Pepper
Scoville Scale: 8/10 (Torrid)
This little round chilli comes from Mexico and is an "ornamental chilli" also called "bird chilli". It is very spicy and releases supple and fruity notes which make it the perfect partner for your chilli con Carne and grilled meats.
Chillis, or Capsicum annum, originate in Bolivia. Birds take the seeds all over South America and Mexico. They do not even feel the spiciness of chillis when they eat them!
Over time, new varieties were cultivated including the Pequin. Pre-Colombian civilisations used chillis as early as 7000 B.C. to enhance their dishes. They were brought to European kitchens by Christopher Columbus when he discovered the Americas. The explorer was seduced by the organoleptic properties of this chilli which is similar to pepper and he brought them back to Europe where they were very expensive at the time.
The chilli is part of the Solanaceae family, like tomatoes, potatoes and aubergines. Pequin chilli grows on a shrub, in hot and very sunny regions. It is also known as “chiltepines” or “chile silvestre”.
The chillis go from green to black then red when they are fully ripe. Each bush produces many chilis which are about 15mm long. The main Pequin chilli farms are in Mexico. Pequin chillis are very hot releasing supple and fruity notes. They are amongst the hottest chillis reaching 50,000 to 70,000 SHU (*SHU: Scoville Heat Unit). Pequin chillis are used to make spicy sauces, soups and vinegar.