How Hot is Jamaica’s Favourite Pepper?

Jamaican Food is famous for its jerk seasoning and liberal use of spicy flavors in general.

The secret behind both jerk seasoning and most of the burn in Jamaican cuisine is the Scotch Bonnet Pepper.

Scotch Bonnets rate between 100,000 and 350,000 units on the Scoville heat scale, making them a nice middle ground between the relatively mild Jalapeno and the legendary searing heat of the Ghost Pepper. 

The Scoville scale measures the concentration of capsaicin in different foods.


Capsaicin is the chemical in hot peppers that makes them taste spicy. 

via FLickr
via Flickr

One Scotch Bonnet holds between 10 and 20 times the amount of capsaicin as a Jalapeno, and the infamous Ghost Pepper holds about 10 times the heat of a Scotch Bonnet Pepper.

That means one Ghost Pepper is approximately like concentrating the burn of over 100 Jalapenos into a single bite. 

Scotch Bonnet Peppers are a the perfect balance between heat and flavor, and their popularity is increasing rapidly as Jamaican Food begins to get the recognition it deserves from the global community!


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