There’s More to Chillies than Meets the Eye

Chilli peppers are a hugely versatile ingredient. They can add flavour as well as heat to any dish, and are available in a variety of forms. While many people think that they cannot handle the heat of chillies and others actively seek the hottest they can get their hands on, the true nature of the chilli pepper is really much more subtle. For the uninitiated and chilli fiends alike, packs such as Mexican luxury chilli sets can be a great way to explore the spice and learn a little more about how to use it in your own cooking.

Chilli peppers

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Remember, They’re Not All Scary!

The heat of chilli peppers is measured in Scoville Heat Units, often written as SHU. There are chillies which fall all across this scale, meaning that there is a chilli pepper for every palate. For example:

– The common bell pepper measures in at 0 SHU

– Mild Poblano chillies have a rating of 1,000 – 2,000 SHU

– Scotch Bonnets measure between 100,000 and 350,000 SHU

– The California Reaper (the world’s hottest pepper) has a rating of 2,200,000 SHU

What Can You Do with Them?

As well as the different species of pepper that are available, chillies can come in a variety of forms depending on how you want to use them. You can buy them fresh, dried or smoked, and processed or dried chillies may be whole, ground into powders or mixed into pastes and sauces. They can also be used in pretty much any recipe! That being said, there are some classic dishes containing chilli that can be spiced to suit your taste and preferences. Chilli con carne, marinated chicken wings, fajitas and curries are all well known spicy meals that can be made at home.

Where Can I Buy Chillies?

You can buy fresh chillies in most supermarkets and corner shops, as well as at some fresh produce markets. More unusual or spicy chillies, as well as chilli sets for beginners and chilli hotheads, are available from online retailers like ( and others.

If you are new to cooking with chillies, don’t be intimidated by their reputation. There are a huge number of recipes available both online and in cookery books to guide you in making delicious chilli dishes, so don’t be afraid to try something new!

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