Hot sauce and sweet heat spices

Hi all,
To heat or not to heat….that is the question.

Do you know how the “hot/heat” is measured in a hot sauce?
Scoville units

What are Scoville Units?

A pharmacist named Wilbur Scoville invented the Scoville Scale in 1912 to measure the heat of peppers. A “Scoville Unit” is actually a measure of capsaicin (the chemical in hot peppers that is responsible for their heat).

Scoville’s test was a comparative taste test that is considered subjective by today’s standards. A more sophisticated method is in use today, but in honor of Wilbur Scoville, the unit of measure is still called the Scoville.

The capsaicin level in peppers can vary from plant to plant due to local environmental conditions. This means that a pepper’s rating is an average measure.

The hottest pepper on record is, depending where you read the latest ‘hottest find’, either the Naga Jolokia, Dorset Naga, or Bhut Jolokia. All are relatively recent finds with claims up to 1 million scoville units. By contrast, the Serrano Pepper comes in at about 5,000 to 15,000 Scoville units.

Scoville Units Pepper Pepper Pepper
300,000 to 1,000,000 Naga Jolokia Dorset Naga Bhut Jolokia
100,000 to 300,000 Habanero Red Savina
50,000 to 100,000 Chile tepin Thai
30,000 to 50,000 Tabasco Pequin Cayenne
15,000 to 30,000 De Arbol
5,000 to 15,000 Serrano
2,500 to 5,000 Guajillo Jalapeno Mirasol
1,500 to 2,500 Rocotillo Cascabel
1,000 to 1,500 Negro Ancho Pasilla
500 to 1,000 New Mexico Anaheim Mulato
100 to 500 Cherry

I guess what I certainly look for in flavoring my foods with heat is exactly that…..”flavor” meaning taste buds aren’t nullified the second the heat hits your tongue but rather you enjoy what you eat with heat.
Always be adventurous but really understand what you are adding to your food or cooking with so the end result is worth eating and enjoying…..only you know what your heat tolerance is.
I love using Ancho chili in many dishes and can govern the heat by how much I add….
Have fun, spice up your life by spicing up your dishes…….
I thought this would just help you understand a little more about what you find out there.
The world of hot sauces and spices is just booming and you should be adventurous and curious but take care and eat the heat that you know will be enjoyable for you as an individual.


Posted on April 17, 2012, in Food glorious food from the heart and soul and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Great article. Thanks for the information. Now, where do I find a couple of those that look really interesting? Time to go shopping….



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