Scotch Bonnet: Exploring the Fiery World of this Hot Pepper

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Scotch bonnet, also known as Bonney peppers or Caribbean red peppers, is a type of chili pepper renowned for its intense heat and unique flavor. Named for its supposed resemblance to a Scottish tam o’ shanter bonnet, this fiery pepper is a staple in West African and Caribbean cuisine.

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Scotch bonnets have a Scoville heat rating ranging from 100,000 to 350,000 units, putting them among the hottest peppers in the world. For context, jalapeño peppers typically rate between 2,500 and 8,000 Scoville units. Despite their intense heat, Scotch bonnets are prized for their sweet undertone and stout shape, differentiating them from their close relative, the habanero.

These peppers are widely used to add a punch of heat to various dishes and are commonly found in hot sauces and condiments. The Scotch bonnet’s distinctive flavor has made it a popular ingredient in West African and Caribbean cuisine, as well as in Sri Lankan and Maldivian dishes. It’s a key component in jerk cooking, providing the signature heat to this famous Caribbean style of barbecue.

Scotch bonnets are also used in other Caribbean-inspired recipes, including those from Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama. Dishes such as rice and peas, rondón, saus, beef patties, and ceviche often feature this spicy pepper. Despite its high heat, the Scotch bonnet’s unique flavor profile continues to attract a growing following among chili enthusiasts and home cooks seeking to spice up their dishes.

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