The Caribbean Red Habanero is one of the hotter types of chili pepper known to exist and is around two times hotter than its close relative, the orange Habanero. Measured in Scoville units, the Caribbean Red Habanero rates between 300,000 and 475,000, depending on the particular chili tasted. In comparison to the Caribbean Red Habanero, the regular Habanero has a Scoville rating of between 100,000 and 350,000, and the Jalapeno has a rating of just 2,500 and 10,000.
The exact origin of the Caribbean Red Habanero is unknown, but is thought to have been cultivated in large amounts by early residents of what is now Mexico. A close relative of the Habanero, with which it shares many characteristics, many scholars believe the Habanero family of chili was first found in South America. We do know that after finding popularity as the people of Mexico and the US combined their cultures, the Caribbean Red Habanero was quickly accepted and grown by farmers in the Caribbean and North America.
Because the Caribbean Red Habanero has such as wide cultivation area, the pepper has now become an integral part of many dishes in cuisine from the Caribbean, North and Central America. One of the major recipe uses for the Caribbean Red Habanero has been in salsa, where its warm, citrus dominated flavor is often liked by traditional Mexican chefs. Because of the mixture of fiery hot flavor and citrus this pepper is also popular in marinades and can be found as a popular ingredient in a large number of hot sauce recipes.
The growth of the Caribbean Red Habanero takes between 90 and 110 days to complete with ripening. A relatively small pepper, the Caribbean Red Habanero reaches just one inch in width and up to two inches in length for a size that belies its natural heat. Beginning as a lime green color, the pepper is not classed as fully ripened until it reaches a bright red color. Because of the wrinkled nature and long, tapered appearance of the pepper, the Caribbean Red Habanero is also often found as part of decorative pieces used in and around kitchens around the world.
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