Why Store Habanero Peppers?
Habanero peppers thrive in hot weather, and produce fruit throughout the year in tropical climates. In colder climates, they are annual plants that produce fruit only once a year. Their distinct fruity, citrus-like flavor, floral aroma and intense heat make them a favorite when cooking Southwestern or Mexican cuisine. Storing habanero peppers is not difficult, but you need to store them properly as their taste can spoil quickly.
Did you know that this member of the Capsicum family is one of the fieriest of all chilies? Chemical compounds called capsaicinoids and capsaicin, which are concentrated in the interior ribs near the seed heart, are responsible for the pungency of the habanero pepper. These peppers score very high on the Scoville scale, and are considered to be the second-hottest pepper available. Their capsaicin content measures in the range of 100,000 to 300,000 Scoville. To be on the safe side, remember to wear thin rubber gloves or surgical gloves while processing and storing habanero peppers, as your eyes and skin can become very irritated when handling them.
Habanero peppers are green in color when unripe, but as they mature, they commonly change color to orange or red. An interesting research study published in the journal Food Chemistry suggested that the content of capsaicinoids, responsible for the pungency of chilli peppers, varied between 41.8 and 65.9 mg/g of dry fruit. The orange cultivars are around 55.0 mg/g, while red cultivars had on an average 45.0 mg of capsaicinoid content per gram of dry fruit, indicating that the first ones are more pungent.