Jalapeno Peppers, Happytime Gift from Mexico
Marty Martindale

Poppers,  nachos,  pepper jack cheese, chii con queso,  jalapeno bacon, jalapeno “‘tinis” jal2and more jalapeno madness, like the marguerita and mariachi music – are fun Mexican additions to latterday U.S. culture. Jalapeno peppers are hotter than cayenne peppers, but their heat leaves your mouth quicker than cayenne.  Considered medium heat peppers, they get this warmth from their white seeds inside its top. Too big a taste, heat too great in your mouth? Quickly down some yogurt!

Jalapenos, now the country’s favorite chili pepper, arrived in the U.S. with the initial wave of Tex-Mex cuisines, a new treat already highly popular in Latin America, Asian, Spanish and Caribbean communities. They are considered a “medium-heat” pepper. The heat in jalapeno peppers is due to their active component, capsaicin. This substance can be highly irritating to susceptible individuals causing burning to their throats, tongues and mouth. Avoid touching your eyes after preparing jalapenos.  Should you do so, rinse eyes continually and  thoroughly with cold water.

Jalapeno peppers are named for the Mexican town, Jalapa in Veracruz state. Texas designated the jalapeño as state pepper in 1995. The US demand for jalapeños rises every year due to the popularity of Mexican and Tex Mex foods. On a hot pepper “heat index”, the jalapeño is considered medium. Jalapenos are rich in vitamins C, A, E and K, plus valuable flavonoids. Continue reading