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flavor Evaluating our 2023 pepper's ?? How do you ??

Hi Guy's

I've grown all sorts of chinense varieties this season and some grew faster than other's some were more productive than other's some are better looking than other's now comes the important bit , how they taste and how to use them πŸ€”

I'm not one for munching raw chili pepper's 😳:fireball:

I love cooking curries mostly πŸ˜‹

I'm wondering how you guy's figure out which you like taste wise and will grow again and which will not or only grown every other year etc.............

I've been using my "Naga pork belly recipe" to evaluate the hotter ones I normally use one big or two smaller Dorset Naga when I make it, so for comparison and evaluation I tried the following

X 2 Burmese Naga = Thin walled Naga less fruity than Dorset classic Naga flavour good heat I liked it nice heat. Abit disappointed with the heat expected hotter but its no slouch.

X 2 Mustard Naga = Thick walled Naga excellent heat "almost" too hot (for me) good flavour not really fruity more "grassy" if that makes sense? But I really liked it

X 1 Fatalii gourmet jigsaw = Nice flavour id describe it as "Naga" plus something πŸ€” I'm assuming that's the Moruga bit ? Never tried one ......but I enjoyed he flavour one was enough two pod's May have been too much (for me)

X 1 7 pot Douglah wow ! One pod certainly enough if not too much ! Shifted my cold snuffly nose and left my tongue feeling like I'd drunk straight from a boiled kettle ! I'd say much hotter than the Fatalii Jigsaw !! Well mine at least.....Flavour.......now pretty sure I'm not a fan .....which is a shame as even I my little Scottish greenhouse it grew like a weed and produced huge pod's ! However I'd been advised smoked and powdered it excells so that the new plan, maybe grow it every other year or so.

Re 7 Pot Douglah flavour are all 7 pots the same flavour or is it just the chocolate......?

I thought about trying different varieties in say a 4 egg omelette almost like a "control" a way to judge flavour and heat ??

My Yellow Bonnet's this year pretty much consisted of Papa joe's, Beth Boyd and Scotch Brains f5 I've pretty much wrote off the Papa Joe as the Beth Boyd was way way earlier way more prolific and much larger pod's ! So the Beth Boyd was top dog nice flavour responsible heat. I was a bit wary of the Yellow Scotch brains as its f5 (I like pedigree reliability) and it very late sown but it did produce some very big pod's in the end ......I gave one to My Dad for a garlic/ginger yogurt chicken marinade he was making..........completely changed my mind too hot for my wife and mother but the old fella and I gorged on spicy hot chicken :D
One large pod 2lb chicken lovely warm whole mouth burn ending In a glowing tongue and tingling lips πŸ’‹ πŸ˜‹

Interesting as my pepper flavour experience expands I.e Naga , Bonnets, 7 Pot's etc I'm finding out what I like flavour wise.

How do you evaluate new peppers flavour are you a muncher :shocked: or a cooker ? Any particular dish or way you like to try them ??

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Not a particular good cook myself so except for putting peppers in jam, wok or on a pizza I can't tell you a lot here. But the first thing I always do is taste the pods raw. This can go from entire pods when they fit within my heat limits to tiny slivers. If I don't like the raw taste that's usually the end of that plants life 😳.

I like my peppers to have minimal influence on the taste of the food.

Last week I made a wok for myself and planned on putting a smaller yellow 7pot brainstrain in it for added heat. I tried a little sliver raw first. That literally put my mouth on fire. I was afraid that my wok would become too hot to eat, so I silently decided to not use that 7pot and replaced it with a HSH scotch bonnet that I still had in the freezer. Heat was just right, taste perfectly ok. I love bonnets! I don't think I said that before 😁.

I have recently also used a 7pot in my jam. I used only one, compared to the 4 scotch bonnets I normally use. And it's still notably hotter...
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I'm the cook of the house ☺️

I evaluate peppers in two ways:
  • raw
  • quick fry with liberal onion and salt, often with some ginger as well (side dish)
My family is not as enthusiastic about peppers as I am, so I prepare this side dish on an almost daily basis. Because there is little variation in the preparation, it also helps me to evaluate and compare different peppers varieties.

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I'm partial to raw peppers, so a sliver test for hots and a bite for everything else.

For the family who are less enthusiastic about peppers I've found a simple mixed vegetable stir-fry gives me a good idea of the cooked flavor profile. Squash, onion, bit of garlic, neutral oil and rice or pasta. Easy way to make small batches that highlight the pepper and can be adjusted easily for level of heat and flavor.

I also like to just toss the thicker walled peppers on the grill, slice, and add to a sandwich or tortilla.
I do taste test the pods raw in field. We also cook with each & every one.
At our stage after 51 years of growing fruits & vegetables we are still samplers.
With a new ripe pod you have waited for forever ripens, We got to try it right now.

It's not only the heat we are searching for, it's the flavor.
The more Ajis we grow, the more flavors we encounter.
I am the only member of my Houshold who will eat anything with heat. I think the wife is actually considering divorce due to getting burned when touching things in the kitchen that I have used. I also can't touch her at all after a normal pepper day.
I really don't know what to do with most of my peppers. I gave most of them away this year once I found a fellow chili-head that would take them. I think I am living in the wrong place in this pacific NW world.

I have been biting the lower tip on peppers to test flavor and heat. The first nibble gives me the flavor. The next nibble usually gets to some heat. This gives me some idea on whether I should eat the whole thing. My favorites this year to eat whole and had some were AJI Fantasy.
I also grew Bahamian goat, Scotch Brains, and Papa Dreadie this year for the first time. I am unable to eat a whole pod of those. I do like the flavor and am working out uses. I just grew to many for just me though. A person can only eat so much hot sauce. I already put it on everything.
The freezer is plugged. I need a new family!
I am the only member of my Houshold who will eat anything with heat. I think the wife is actually considering divorce due to getting burned when touching things in the kitchen that I have used. I also can't touch her at all after a normal pepper day.
This - Mr Tinks dried his hands on a towel I had used for handwashing while processing peppers, then touched his face and screamed :rofl:
Sorry it's not funny is it waaaaahaaaaahaaaaaaaaaaaaa
it was so f*cking funny

I'm on my last warning about peppers in the house - yes I'm still laughing

Back to the serious stuff - with new (to me) peppers that I know are going to be hot, I cut a sliver off the bottom and have a piece of cheese or glass of milk at the ready
I don't like eating raw peppers either. There are two main ways I evaluate the flavor: Roast them, or make a sauce. The sauce is a baseline recipe where the only thing that changes is the pepper, so I can get a good comparison of flavor and heat.
Lol. I am not the only one who has a spouse who isn't as keen on the powerful things I have growing on the deck :) Loved the comments prior and so true here as well. She has however started using things like Thai's, Serrano's and Jalapeno's in dishes however - so her level is growing. In time, maybe I'll convert her.

I love to eat raw (again as so many others said) - when within reason. No, I'm not grabbing a Carolina Reaper or White Moruga to taste outside - but I will many other varieties. My favorite way to truly test the peppers for heat/flavor is to chop a handful of them up, place in aluminum foil with a little olive oil and salt/pepper... seal it up (double up). Then toss on grill when either doing Steak or Pork Chops on grill. I will say a couple Thai Dragon's heated up like this with a piece of Medium-Rare Rib Eye is AMAZING. I find that heating them up by themselves really brings to life both the flavor and heat. I have many I didn't care for and I won't grow again. With about 40 varieties at a time in my garden each year - there are always around 5 new I'm trying each year. I also won't grow again if they don't produce very much. If I like it, and it produces where I can truly enjoy them - I'll grow again.
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Hi Guy's

Tonight I baked some pork belly, then sliced it pan fried it with a bundle of Asparagus and a handful of spring onions, big clove of garlic, salt and pepper one of my White hot pepper chocolate scotch bonnet sliced...........

Delicious flavour πŸ˜‹Lovely warmth very nice indeed instantly loved the flavour :thumbsup:

Unlike the Douglah.................although the heat was spectacular 😎:shocked::fireball:
I always start out with eating a raw pod, First nibble at the bottomside to get a good taste and smell of the aroma and after that a big chomp of pod with placenta to get a sense of the heat. After this i get a pretty good idea of how to use them, Floral/tropical flavors for the tropical/caribbean style cooking, more spiced flavor or no nonse plain heat peppers for asian cuisine etc. After using them in a couple of dishes i decide on whether they are keepers or goners. Grilling as suggested above also gives a good indication for their use. Sometimes it elevates the taste and sometimes it doesn't. Habanada for instance: liked it a lot eaten raw, sweet and with a nice long lingering habanero flavour without the heat. But after grilling i didn't like them at all. Habanero flavor was gone and grassy taste remained. Figured i had to pickle them to enjoy the raw qualities but preserve them for the longer term. worked out just fine!
Plant health, vigour and productivity also makes up a big part of my selection though!
I also prefer to try raw peppers at first. I start at the tip for flavor and heat approximation. Then I try one more piece to check the hot....and then I continue visiting the fridge every 10 minutes, eating small pieces, like a child with a cake.
I usually make sauces and oils with peppers.
It is true that during the season I chop raw hot peppers on almost any food. I just had pasta bolognese with Genghis Khan Brain on top 🀣
I'm the only one who likes spicy at home, so I can't cook recipes for the family using spicy.
I adapt and do what I can to enjoy.
I know what I like and that's what I grow and always have available in one form or another. When fresh I mostly slice or chop raw and eat on sandwiches, salads, burritos, etc. My wife doesn't do heat so I can't use any in anything I cook for "us". For that food, there's my pepper powders. When I have clear kitchen privileges for a while I'll do some cooking like a big pot of superhot sauce or very spicy burrito stuff and split it between my belly, the refrigerator for later and the freezer for after that.
My 2023 growing season was a disaster as barely anything germinated so I decided to skip this year. But I still have plenty of powder, mash, ferments and sauces from previous years so I didn't miss out in the slightest.

I'm not a raw fan - while it's amusing to munch on something like Aji Limo, I much prefer chilies in cooking. My favourite uses:
  • In any Cajun dish, I replace the bell peppers in the mirepoix with Rocoto Manzana. I've had a hell of a time growing them here as it's just too hot but fortunately my local Fiesta stocks them regularly. If you've never tried Rocoto as a bell pepper replacement, I can't recommend it enough.
  • For South East Asian food, I keep frozen cayenne and ghost peppers to make the sambal which is the precursor to a lot of dishes. Since this is all blended with shallots, garlic, galangal etc it doesn't matter that they're frozen. One ghost pepper and a bunch of cayenne makes a large batch enough for 10+ portions and gives great heat and flavour without being unbearable.
  • I grew a bunch of orange ribbon a couple years ago and have frozen them individually. They're my favourite for slicing thinly and using as pizza topping. Bahamian goat when fresh as also good for pizza but they don't freeze as well.
I have a lot of powder but don't really see the utility. As most are superhot, they're not really usable in cooking as there's more heat than flavour. I occasionally sprinkle on food but that's about it.