PATI'S MEXICAN TABLE

January 20, 2010 9:45 PM
Habanero Chile
Habanero chiles are one happy looking bunch. They have colorful colors that go from green to the yellow, and then orange to red as they mature. They are small, cute, shinny and have waxy skin. But as much as their looks are inviting, they are the spiciest chiles in Mexican cuisine. They are incredibly fierce. With a rating of 300,000 to 350,000 on the Scoville scale for measuring hotness of a chili pepper, you can get an idea of how hot they are: JalapeƱos go around 10,000 to 15,000 (click for more information and photo). 

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Habaneros are a crucial ingredient for the regional cuisine of the Yucatan Peninsula. They are native of that region, though ironically, they are named after the Cuban city of Habana as they were traded there, heavily, centuries ago. 

They are very easy to grow indoors and are beautiful to look at, so it is quite common to find them in kitchen pots, not only in Mexico!