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Scotch Bonnet Peppers

scotch bonnet pepper

Scoville Rating
100,000 - 325,000 SHU

The Scotch Bonnet packs a punch, a very delicious punch. With it’s roots in the Caribbean, the pepper is a member of the Capsicum Chinense family, and one of Jamaica’s largest agricultural exports. Commonly confused with it’s cousin, the Habanero Pepper, there are many strains of Scotch Bonnets.

On The Senses

Think of the sun. It’s hot right? Now think of the sun as a giant, sweet orange, but shrunken down to only a couple inches and hanging off of a pepper plant. Sound good? No! It sounds downright delicious!

A fiery, fruity, almost apricot, citrusy flavor. That’s how I tend to wrap up the taste of Scotch Bonnet. They have a natural sweetness that makes them a welcome addition to many hot sauces, cuisines, and palettes around the world.

Uses

Scotch Bonnets are to hot sauce like horns are to unicorns. This is one of their most common uses. With such a powerful, fruity flavor and sweetness about them, they make an amazing addition to any spicy potion you are creating. They are also really popular amongst Jamaican Jerk Marinades. People even soak them in sherry for while and add the mix to a Bloody Mary.

Some are examining the potential of these and other Caribbean grown peppers for uses outside of the kitchen for items like pepper spray.

Origins

A native to the Caribbean, the Scotch Bonnet is found naturally in the Maldives, Guyana, and parts of Africa. The name is derived from the Scottish muffin top cap made famous by Tim O’ Shanter.

Cultivation

Like most peppers, tropical climates are prime Scotch Bonnet Cultivation grounds.

In a planting tray, sow seeds around 1/4 in. deep and lightly cover in soil. Water lightly about twice daily. Here’s where we’ll test your patience. I’ve had seedlings sprout in 10 days, but sometimes it can take up to 3 weeks before you see anything. Seedlings will need at least 6 hours of sunlight a day.

After about 5 – 6 weeks, your plants should be around 5 – 6 inches in height, and will be ready to transplant. If you are growing your plants indoors, you’ll want to “harden them off” before you transplant them outside. If you are growing strictly indoors, you can skip that step.

When transplanting the plants, place about 2-3 feet apart (We prefer raised beds instead of pots).

Your peppers will reach maturity around 12 weeks after transplanting. They should be harvested when they are still green or just starting to turn yellow. To harvest, snap the pedicel (the stem) upwards towards the back of the curve.

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