Homegrown Habaneros_TowniesWS.com

Monday Bites: Habaneros

Jerk Chicken with Red Beans, Rice & Callaloo

They drip from their vines like light, airy Chinese lanterns, but don’t be fooled. These vibrant South American peppers pack a heavy punch. Rated 100,000–350,000 on the Scoville scale, these homegrown habeneros aren’t for the faint of heart, or palate for that matter. Similar to a scotch bonnet with thin, waxy flesh, anyone who has sampled one of these beauties can testify that the flavor is distinctly her own with fruity, citrus-like notes to complement the heat with a floral aroma. Once considered the hottest pepper on the planet by the Guinness World Book of Records, the habanero recently lost her crown to a new hybrid on the block. The locally cultivated Carolina Reaper, the lovechild of a ghost pepper and a particuarly piquant red habanero, currently holds the spice crown. But trust us, whether the habanero is a title holder or not, add her to any dish and she is sure to make her presence known. Baby, she hurts so good.

Habanero Jerk Chicken_TowniesWS.com

~ from the TowniesWS test kitchen by Chef Harrison Littell

Other habanero recipe ideas –

Jamaican Jerk Chicken from Saveur Magazine

Caribbean Roast Pork with Pineapple Lime Salsa from Food52.com

Sassy Habanero Deviled Eggs from Our State Magazine (featuring Winston-Salem-based Miss Jenny’s Pickles)

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