Most Flavorful Hot Peppers

by Suzanne Hodgson

Peppers come in a variety of flavors, shapes, sizes and colors.

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Most people don't eat hot peppers because they like the sensation of a small fire burning in their mouths; it's because hot peppers contain a variety of delicious flavors. From fruity to sweet to soothingly spicy, there are dozens of varieties of hot peppers -- enough to please anyone's taste buds.

Fruity Peppers

The Aji Amarillo Chili or Yellow Peruvian Chile is deep yellow, sometimes orange, 4 to 5 inches long and has a fruity flavor with an intense spice. The Mirasol Pepper, with long, cone-like pods that grow upright from branches in Mexico, is spicy with hints of fruit flavors. A Mustard Habanero pepper retains the heat recognized in many Habanero varieties but has fruity overtones. This pepper is dark yellow with hints of orange and a pointed tip.

Sweet Peppers

Bishop's Hat Pepper has a variety of names, including the Balloon Pepper, and is so-called because of the unusually shaped fruits that look like a hat. While the pepper has a mild spice on the inside, the outreaching sides have a sweet flavor. Cubanelle Pepper, an Italian pepper that ripens to a yellow-green color, is spicy with a hint of sweetness. Jimmy Nardello Pepper is a sweet pepper with little spice, which is often used in frying. Lipstick Pepper is a sweet pepper the color of ruby red lipstick with meaty flesh.

Spicy Peppers

Habaneros are some of the spiciest peppers, with the Orange Habanero being the spiciest of the family. Red Habaneros and Chocolate Habanero are nearly as spicy as the Orange Habanero. The Caribbean Red pepper is hotter than even the Orange Habanero, near the very top of the scale. Chi-Chien Pepper is a slender pepper and can be eaten dried or fresh. Fatali Peppers are among the hottest peppers, even more than many of the Habanero's. The peppers are yellow and have a fruity undertone.

Smoky Peppers

Jamaican Hot Chocolate Pepper is part of the Habanero family, but is chocolate in color with an extremely hot but smoky flavor. The Pasilla Bajio Pepper, a popular dark brown or dark green Mexican pepper, is often eaten after being dried because of its smoky flavor.

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About the Author

Suzanne Hodgson is a graduate of Penn State University, receiving Bachelor of Arts degrees in journalism and integrative art. She works at a marketing firm and has previously served as the photographer and journalist for the "Kennebunk Post," a weekly paper in southern Maine.