Q: Hi Dave,
Here in Italy most people believe that the peppers grown in Calabria are the absolute hottest. I know that’s not true (ex: habaneros), but at what Scoville level are Calabrian peppers and generally what kind of peppers do they grow there? Thanks in advance.
A: Hello Christian:
Since there are so many different varieties of Calabrian peppers, it is difficult to generalize about their heat levels. They would have to be tested by High Performance Liquid Chromatography, and I don’t know if that has been done. Generally speaking, the smaller the pepper, the hotter it is, so the tiny, chiltepin-like peppers are very hot, according to our writer Harald Zoschke who tasted them. I would guess that the smaller ones are 50,000 Scoville Heat Units or more. Harald wrote a complete article on the different varieties of Calabrian peppers, with photos. Read it at http://www.fiery-foods.com/dave/calabria6.asp All of the commercially grown Calabrian peppers are varieties of Capsicum annuum.–Dave