• If you need help identifying a pepper, disease, or plant issue, please post in Identification.

flavor Nature Vs. Nurture

So I just found a red pepper labelled as "Scotch Bonnet" at a Publix in Fort Lauderdale - they looked great. When I cut a few open, they were VERY disappointing - barely a hint of that scotch bonnet flavor, and the heat was severely lacking as well. I'm wondering if this is more likely caused by growing conditions (I assume lots of fertilizer and irrigation in a commercial field somewhere around here, unknown soil type) or by them not being a true scotch bonnet variety or perhaps a version that's had some of the heat and flavor bred out of it to make it more palatable in the mass market?
I'm on the tail end of a sailing trip back from Trinidad, and these were by far and away the most disappointing scotch bonnets of the trip.
 

The Hot Pepper

Founder
Admin
Scotch Bonnet is a marketing term for any habanero from the Caribbean in supermarkets.
 
Scotch Bonnet is a marketing term for any habanero from the Caribbean in supermarkets.
That makes a lot of sense - thanks! I'd never seen scotch bonnets so wondered if I'd lucked into some pepper-loving enclave of Fort Lauderdale, but that they were some variety of red habanero makes a lot more sense.
 
Last edited:

The Hot Pepper

Founder
Admin
They never have the tam shape, they are always just habs. Unless you go to specialty markets.
 
I buy large amounts of habaneros for my company when making sauces, and I have always bought a lot from my local supermarkets. And the quality can be very varying, unfortunately. Sometimes you will find habaneros that fill the whole kitchen with aroma when cut open. The next they there is hardly any flavor at all. It would be very interesting to know what causes this! Could be genetics, could be the way they were grown... would love to know!
 
I buy large amounts of habaneros for my company when making sauces, and I have always bought a lot from my local supermarkets. And the quality can be very varying, unfortunately. Sometimes you will find habaneros that fill the whole kitchen with aroma when cut open. The next they there is hardly any flavor at all. It would be very interesting to know what causes this! Could be genetics, could be the way they were grown... would love to know!

+1
Did you experience any difference in taste and aroma when you switched from soil to hydro?
I grow a lot of my own vegetables and they all taste much better then the ones bought at the store.
Last year i bought some kapia peppers at the supermarket, land of origin was Morroco. I took some seeds and planted them. Both in pots filled with potting soil and some straight in the garden. They both turned up better tasting then the ones i originally bought, but the ones grown in the cold dirt were by far the best tasting.
Saw an interview once with a professional rock wool grower and he stated that there was no difference in taste compared to soil based grows. He mentioned that the constant supply of water could dillute the flavors, whereas soil grown vegetables could experience drought, wich causes the flavors to be more concentrated. I'm not buying his story!
Perhaps the moment and circumstances at the moment of harvest could have a major impact on the flavors?
Curious to hearing other insights on the matter! :think:
 
Last edited:
About soil grown vs. hydro... we often eat endives (dutch : witloof) here and always make sure to buy soil grown endives as those grown on hydroculture consistently are of lower quality taste wise. The soil grown endives usually are smaller though. Proven again : size isn't everything 😁
 
I haven't tasted enough Kratky peppers to really say for sure. But I have watched a lot of side-by-side comparisons on youtube with peppers and tomatoes, and usually, it's a draw or the hydro win. Kind of disappointing as I WANT soil to be better. I think it could be different when it comes to other fruits and vegetables.
 
Whenever I buy habaneros or any hot pepper in supermarkets, it always happens the same, the flavor and aroma are almost gone.
I think it is due to a mixture of everything: 'genetics + cultivation * conservation'. That is to say, genetics not selected as we chilliheads do it, generic cultivation and not even with the care we chilliheads do it and this is greatly enhanced by the storage conditions, and sometimes some fruits and vegetables spend months in refrigeration chambers oxidizing many of their organoleptic qualities.
I have only bought good hot peppers at farmers markets (everything is fresh there)
 

ahayastani

Extreme Member
About soil grown vs. hydro... we often eat endives (dutch : witloof) here and always make sure to buy soil grown endives as those grown on hydroculture consistently are of lower quality taste wise. The soil grown endives usually are smaller though.

I second that. Hydro-endives lack taste.

I've experienced similar experiences here with habanero. The habanero they sell here in supermarkets lack flavour and hotness, whereas the habanero sold on the local market (locally produced) packs a lot of flavour and is quite hot.
 
Top