froggedAugust 30, 2012

Hi all! Im hoping for some good knowledge I am having issues with the burning heat from my habanero. Background I grew these plants in my garden this year and they are a bit small and have thin walls. Which fooled me into thinking nahh they probably wont be that hot. So I picked a number of pale green and a couple that had turned orange. Cut up a bit less then 1/2 cup for my canned salsa. (30 cups sliced tomatoes)So stupid foolish me didn't believe that these suckers were going to have much heat cause of them being on the thin walled and small side didn't use gloves to cut them up. Threw them in the pot to cook. I didn't put in the seeds or veins. I then dipped my finger into the salsa for a tinny tinny taste YIKES my tongue and upper lip stated to burn like crazy so oil, milk, vinegar and my face was good not so for my fingers they are still painful a day later. ANYway so I need to fix the salsa so made up a second batch 1/2 the first recipe( all the ripe tomatoes I had in the garden) without the spice or hot peppers added this to the first added a bit extra lemon juice, and table spoon of vinegar, also added a carrot to be fished out before canning (read this may help).I'am actually afraid to taste this again. So my questions are do you think I have done enough to reduce the heat is there a trick you could suggest. This may be the wrong place to ask how to eliminate heat since I guessing ya'll love hot peppers but It's worth a shot. And yup I am a whimp when it comes to heat. By the way where do habanero's fall in the scheme of things I thought they were lower on the scale just above jalapeno's Oh and are peppers more intense if picked young???? Thanks for any help you could offer frogged

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Actually, habaneros are pretty darned hot! They are a far cry from a jalapeno or even Cayenne. Maybe they don't compare to the Bhut or 7-pot, etc... But, habs are still very hot.

As the salsa sits, the heat will spread and even out, so, that along with the additional tomatoes to cut it, it should be significantly less hot. At least the initial bite should be less. You may end up with taking a bite and it's not too bad..but, after eating a bowl of salsa / chips, you realize the heat has really built up almost sneaking up on you. :-)

The general rule is the peppers get hotter as they ripen/mature.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 4:12PM
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Habs are at the high end of the heat level before you move into the super hots. A fresh orange hab can pack some major heat. The fresher the hotter. They are hottest when they are almost ripe. Best tasting when full color is reached. Adding acid, veggies,and sugar will lower the heat of your salsa so you are on the right track.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 4:15PM
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I need to learn to type faster Tim. LOL

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 4:17PM
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Hi guys thanks for your response. Live and learn but why do I learn these things the hard way? Wish me luck its time to taste this stuff again....

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 4:54PM
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esox07 (4b)

I am no expert. And I have been playing with peppers for only a couple years but it seems whenever I put them in some kind of food, the food gets hotter the older it gets. Such as in left overs.
Maybe I am just more afraid the second time around.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 4:59PM
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So, it is still hot but Im not running just walking for the milk this time. Just kidding I think it's gonna be ok I mainly use salsa as a topping for things like soft taco's and such. So mixes with other things it should be great. Thanks again for the info I love the people that answer folks on garden forums I always get really good help! :)

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 5:30PM
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DMForcier(8 DFW)

No reason to take out the carrot. I like carrots in pickles and (shredded) in salsa. And to eat like Bugs Bunny.

You might consider putting some in jars, labeling them "very hot", and seeing which of your friends and acquaintances might be interested.

You might find a regular outlet.


Now, as for cooking, taste your food early and often. One nibble on one of your habs would have avoided this whole mess. (Well, save for the weeping and hiccuping.)


Also be aware that your tastes and tolerance will change. You might not be a friend of HOT today, but the thing grows on you. I bet you could dip a couple chips tomorrow and not even hiccup. Much.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 6:03PM
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I should taste as I go, lesson learned. As for nibbling on this pepper I may have wound up in emerg did I mention Im a whimp? Although you may be right as to changing my tolerance this salsa is still hotter then anything I have made in the past but I think it's gonna be good in the middle of the winter mixed with other toppings. I added the carrot after reading a post that said it would absorb some of the heat and add some sweetness. Last years salsa lacked flavour so I thought this year I would change up the peppers, hmm maybe next year I will try another kind something a little less hot but great flavour. Hmm now what to do with the rest of the peppers still on the plants in the garden?

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 10:22PM
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I agree, frogged. If you use it as a topping/condiment it will blend in with whatever you are having it in/on, and be perfect!

As for the salsa - I have found that a variety of peppers, some mild, some medium really help round out the flavor. Next year, I am going to focus a bit more on paprika type peppers. I think that could really help round out my salsa as well as...well, just about everything else! LOL

Also, you can freshen canned salsa up with a bit of fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 10:41PM
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IAmSupernova(SE Texas 9A)

"Live and learn but why do I learn these things the hard way?"

Best way to learn IMO. The lessons hard learned are the ones that actually stick. Ever since I first started in on the idea of starting up a garden I've been lurking these forums reading everything in hopes that some of what is said will just rub off on me and become second nature. A lot of it has, but none of it sticks in the same clarity as making my own mistakes, then having to correct for them.

You can also think of it like Edison.. You aren't failing, you're simply discovering ways to NOT do something. If you don't learn from your 'mistakes', then yes you have failed. As long as you have learned from it, it's not a failure.

Now back to lurk-dom for me.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 12:04AM
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Well said IamSupernova. Maybe you should post a little more often. :)


    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 5:54PM
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RE: IAmSupernova

Accurate comment... probably for all of us to one degree or another. Not to say that I don't take advice on stuff around here, but understanding the intricasies of pepper growing is most certainly developed by mistakes.

On the other hand, the novice on occasion can stumble into a brilliant concept that experts never think of mentioning or forgotten about. You remember what works for your crop too.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 6:19PM
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