HOT PEPPERS: When Wilbur Scoville first devised a means to test the heat of peppers, his hottest entry then came in at 20,000 units. Habanero and Thai chilies can go as high as 60,000. Compare that to the sweet bell pepper at zero. When hot peppers are consumed, capsaicinoids bind with pain receptors in the mouth and throat that are responsible for sensing heat. Once activated by the capsaicinoids, these receptors send a message to the brain that the person has consumed something hot. The brain responds to the burning sensation by raising the heart rate, increasing perspiration and release of endorphins. Hot peppers should be eaten with caution!
Tabasco Pepper: The Tabasco chile originated from a state of that name in south-east Mexico, where the land is mostly flat and marshy, and it is hot and humid with extensive jungles. The Tabasco no longer grows there, but will be found in New Iberia, Louisiana, the home of the famous sauce company of the same name where it has grown since at least 1850. Tabasco chiles are also grown by the sauce makers in Venezuela, Guatemala and elsewhere. The Tabasco grows pointing upwards, is bright red when picked, 4 cm long by 1 cm wide, and has a heat level of 9. 30,000 to 50,000 Scoville units. (Capsicum frutescens var. tabasco). Tabasco plants grow into compact bushes 1 to 4 feet high, bearing around 100 pointed 1 1/2 inch pods. 50,000 SHU