A native of North and South America, the Chiltepin Pepper is a type of chili pepper. The official pepper of Texas is the Jalepeno pepper and in 1997, the Chiltepin pepper was named the official “native” pepper in Texas. The plant of the Chiltepin pepper is a luscious green color with white flowers. The peppers pods are round or pea shaped and measure around a half inch in length and width. These pods grow upward, instead of the downward, like most. They vary in color from a pumpkin orange to a deep red. The skin of the Chiltepin is slightly thin and wrinkled. Chiltepin peppers are very hot, however, the intensity of the heat is rapid but fades quickly.
Many years ago, the Chiltepin pepper was only found growing in the wild. Today, it has been domesticated and grown around the world by many different cultures of people. The Chiltepin pepper is often referred to as the mother of all peppers. This is due to the fact that it is believed to be the oldest and hottest species of wild pepper. The wild variety grows well on surfaces that are rocky, such as atop steep slopes. Many times, it is difficult to find wild Chiltepin peppers. Shrubbery often hides and protects these pods.
Chiltepin peppers, like other chili peppers, contain chemical compounds called capsaicinoids. These are the heat producing elements of the pepper. The highest content of this compound is found in the ribs of the pod and the seeds. Capsaicin is the most present compound. It is measured, in order to obtain the rating on the Scoville heat scale, for each pepper. This scale was created by Wilbur Scoville in 1912. His original test, however, was performed with the aid of a group of taste testers. Today, the test is performed using High Performance Liquid Chromatography. This test is said by many chemists to be as accurate and sensitive as the human tongue.
Some Basic Info
There are many uses of Chiltepin peppers. Most are dried or ground for spices. Very few are available in markets unless ordering is available. Only specialty shops usually offer this service. Many online sites offer the seeds for planting the domesticated variety. The wild Chiltepin has a much richer flavor in comparison to the home grown pods.
How accurate is this article? We are striving to become the ultimate resource for information on peppers, and if you notice any inaccuracies, or want to contribute content, please contact us.
Photo credit: derekmarkham / Foter / CC BY