Is it just us or is it getting hot in here? It’s probably because we have one of our favourite spices, Chilli, in the spotlight! From health benefits to giving your cooking the edge, Chilli is one of the most popular spices used worldwide. As expert supplier of herbs and spices online, here at World at Spice, we thought we’d give Chilli it’s time to shine and take a closer look at what it really brings to the table.
What Are the Benefits of Chilli?
Let’s kick things off with the benefits of chilli. Not only do they taste delicious, make your food taste delicious, but chillies are rich in antioxidants and vitamins! Beta-carotene, Vitamin C and Vitamin A are all said to boost immunity and help to prevent lifestyle diseases, such as stomach and digestion issues, easing congestion, lowering the risk of diabetes and even aid in the prevention of cancer.
Where is Chilli Found?
Chillies originate from South America, where they have been grown and traded for over 6,000. Popular chilli growing countries include China, India, USA and Mexico. In fact, China is now known for producing the largest amount of green chilli’s annually, providing half of the global spices online and for trade.
How Many Types of Chilli Are There?
There are around 200 known varieties of chilli that we commonly use for cooking. They come in many different colours - green, yellow, orange, red and even black; they also differ in heat and size. Contrary to what you may think, it’s the small chillies that are often more potent, but keep in mind that the same variety of chilli can contain different levels of capsaicin - the volatile oil that gives chilli its heat. Consequently, the same chilli can appear hotter, depending on the batch you get.
The Scoville Scale is the official heat scale for chillies. To give you an idea of the ranking types: sweet peppers score 0, jalapeño’s score around 3,000, a habanero would score 100,000 and a scotch bonnet could come in at 300,000+. Phew!
How Do I Eat Chilli’s?
Chilli’s come in fresh, dried and ground form. You can eat them raw, sautéed or baked – there are many ways to enjoy them within your cooking! Chillies can be used in just about anything if you’re feeling daring. They’re most commonly used in Thai and Indian curries, to make the traditional cuisine hotter. You can add them in salad and even desserts! In fact, the ways in which you can eat chilli is limitless.
It should be noted that handling and cooking with fresh chilli peppers should be done so with care. Capsaicin may cause irritation to the eyes, skin and lips. It’s advisable to wear rubber gloves, especially when dealing with the hotter chilies.
At World of Spice spices online, our top tip is to de-seed the chillies to take the edge off a little. If you love spice, leave the chilli seeds and inner white membranes intact, as this is where a lot of the heat comes from!
What Chilli is Stronger?
Talking of heat, this brings us to our next topic – what type of chilli is hotter? Chillies come whole, as flakes or ground into chilli powder and are packed with volatile oil. The age-old debate of which is hotter, fresh or ground is ongoing. In our opinion, dried is often hotter because it contains a little more capsaicin. Dried peppers are typically allowed to ripen fully before undergoing the drying process, which means they have a higher heat concentration.
Fresh chillies sold in supermarkets, usually have a heat scale on them as a guide. For fragrant, good quality chilli fruit, look for a smooth, glossy skin that is deep in colour and firm to the touch. Shrivelled skin and brown marks mean the chilli has gone past its best. Here are the of the most common chilli varieties and what to look out for, so you know exactly what spice you’re putting in your cooking!
Jalapeños - small fiery, green chillies, that are often used fresh or pickled in cooking. They can also be dried and smoked to make chipotle towards the end of the growing season.
Serrano Peppers – Similar to jalapeños, Serrano peppers are slightly spicier, perfect for when you need a little kick, without overpowering.
Habanero - an orange, lantern-shaped and extremely hot chilli with a slightly fruity flavour.
Scotch Bonnet - a brother of the habanero, usually red, yellow or green in colour and red-hot – for most people this is game over, in terms of heat tolerance!
Get in Touch
At World of Spice, we understand the importance of authentic and traditional tasting cuisine. Our spices online are known for their purity and potency, full of delicious flavour to give your food the edge. Our service is cost-effective and reliable; we go above and beyond for each of our customers to ensure that you get the produce you need for business.
From top notch chilli, bespoke blends to a choice of packaging, complete with custom labelling, our comprehensive service can help you achieve your culinary goals. For more information about our services and what we can offer you, please contact us at email@example.com, or feel free to call our team on 01277 633303. We look forward to hearing from you.