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Chilli Peppers

Hot peppers, also known as chilli peppers here in the UK, were domesticated more than 6,000 years ago in Mexico. Since being introduced into the European and Asian worlds, they’ve since come play an integral role in many nations’ diets. Indeed, chili peppers are now eaten by over a quarter of the earth’s human population every day, in countries all over the globe.

The curious thing about hot peppers, is that no matter how hot they seem, they don’t really burn. Instead, the capsaicin in them turns certain “safety-first” cells on, causing them to send messages of pain to your brain. Normally these cells would only be triggered at temperatures over 42C or by acid, theoretically to tell your brain, “Danger! Cease and desist!” But don’t worry, capsaicin doesn’t damage your tongue, so feel free to east as many as you like.

The “heat” in hot peppers is conventionally referred to in terms of Scoville heat units (SHU). The Scoville Heat Scale was developed 19 12 by a pharmaceutical company employee named Wilbur Scoville. He would grind the peppers into powder and then dilute them with sugar water. The more a pepper had to be diluted to be neutralized, the “hotter” it was and the higher the reading on the scale.

For reference, here are a few of the more common hot peppers and where they stand on the Scoville scale:

Pepper Name Level Scoville Heat Units (SHUs)
Anaheim, Peperonicini, Cherry Level 1 100-1,000 SHUs
Coronado, Sangria Level 2 1,000-1,500 SHUs
Ancho, Poblano Level 3 1,500-2,500 SHUs
Hatch Green Level 4 2,000-5,000 SHUs
Rocotillo Level 5 2,500-5,000 SHUs
Serrano, Jalapeño, Mirasol Level 6 5,000-15,000 SHUs
Chipotle Level 7 15,000-30,000 SHUs
Manzano Level 8 30,000-50,000 SHUs
Cayenne, Tobasco Level 9 50,000-100,000 SHUs
Thai Level 10 100,000-350,000 SHUs
Habanero, Chocolate Habanero, Scotch Bonnet, Orange Habanero, Jamaican Hot Level 11 350,000-855,000 SHUs




But there’s more to chilli peppers than just how “hot” they are. Each hot pepper has its own flavour and texture underlying the heat. The also have their own distinctive aromas, leading different peppers to pair well with different wines. But if heat is what you’re going for, it’s helpful to remember that the smaller peppers are usually the hottest, and the stems and seeds are the hottest parts (and are usually removed). And while you may be looking forward that oh-so-good burn on your tongue, it’s best to wear gloves when preparing the peppers, as the capsaicin oils in chilies can irritate your skin and mucus membranes. There’s nothing worse than cutting up a pepper and then rubbing your eyes. So in general, it’s best to wear rubber gloves when working with hot peppers.

Garden-wise chillies are heat-loving perennial nightshades belonging to the Capsicum family. So while we usually grow them as an annual, with the right conditions they’re happy to last all through the winter.

Best uses: Drying, freezing, pickling, oil, canning, salsa, and sauces

Chilli Seeds UK. Hot & Very Hot Pepper Seeds.

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Apache F1

5 Seeds per packet

Very Hot 70,000 – 80,000 SHU

Price £1.35
Out of stock
Out of stock

One of the easiest hot peppers to grow, the Apache F1 pepper is an attractive, compact plant which will produce a seemingly never-ending supply of little, conical-shaped fruits. A dwarf variety, the Apache is perfect for the patio or container garden.

Cayenne Long Slim

20 Seeds per packet

Hot 30,000 – 50,000 SHU

Price £0.99
In stock

Beautiful, slender, red-hot peppers. Each plant grows up to 2 feet and is vigourous and productive. Great for drying, using fresh and/or using medicinally.

Hungarian Wax

50 Seeds per packet

Medium 2,500 – 8,000 SHU

Price £0.99
Packing fresh stock
Out of stock

An early, prolific hot pepper. Produces continuous sets of beautiful, waxy fruit that start off yellow and turn red upon ripening. Great for container gardens and very popular for pickling.

Jalapeno

25 Seeds per packet

Medium 2,500 – 10,000 SHU

Price £0.99
In stock

An easy to grow hot pepper, Jalapeños are one of the most popular peppers grown in the US and are best known for their spicy-hot, yet sweet flavor. Perfect for salsas and traditional Mexican/American cuisine.

Tabasco

5 Seeds per packet

Hot 30,000 – 50,000 SHU

Price £1.35
Out of stock
Out of stock

This fiery hot pepper made Tabasco sauce famous. Great for seasoning any spicy-hot dish and commonly used to infuse vinegar.

Scotch Bonnet Red

10 Seeds per packet

Very Hot 100,000 - 400,000 SHU

Price £0.99
Out of stock
Out of stock

One of the hottest chillies in the world, the Scotch Bonnet will blow your socks off with its unique flavour and incredible heat.

Chiang-Rai

10 Seeds per packet

Medium 2,500 - 8,000 SHU

Price £0.99
Out of stock
Out of stock

This extremely hot pepper is both decorative and flavourful. Works well in containers.

Carolina Reaper

5 Seeds per packet

VERY Very Hot 1,569,300+ SHU

Price £2.35
In stock

A devilish little pepper with a scorpion’s tail that just so happens to be the hottest pepper in the world.

Demon Red

15 Seeds per packet

Hot 30,000 - 50,000 SHU

Price £1.95
In stock

A Thai-style dwarf chilli pepper bred especially for container gardening. As beautiful as it is flavourful.

Pot Black

5 Seeds per packet

Hot 30,000 - 50,000 SHU

Price £0.99
In stock

A gorgeous, compact medium-hot chili whose beauty makes it just as much an ornamental as a veggie crop.

Habanero

10 Seeds per packet

Medium 2,500 - 80,000 SHU

Price £0.99
Out of stock
Out of stock

One of the hottest, yet most delicious chilies around, our Habaneros will make your hot sauces and salsas totally irresistible.

Bhut Jolokia

10 Seeds per packet

VERY Very Hot 1,00,000+ SHU

Price £2.95
In stock

Discover the Fiery World of Bhut Jolokia Chilli Pepper Seeds - A Gardener's Challenge from India's Northeast!