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Pepper Gallery Title

(C. annuum)

The jalapeño is one of the best known peppers in Mexico and the U.S. Although it's named after the city of Jalapa in Veracruz, jalapeños are grown and used throughout Mexico, and they go by different names in different regions. Jalapeños are only mildly piquant, and they have thick, juicy flesh. They are usually eaten in the green stage, fresh or pickled, but when allowed to ripen, jalapeños are amazingly sweet - still hot, but also very sweet. Ripe jalapeños are often dried in mesquite or other hardwood smoke, and called chipotles. Smoked jalapeños have a rich, chocolaty flavor that is just great in sauces. There are dozens of jalapeño cultivars and breeders in the U.S. have developed totally mild jalapeños. (Leave it to the Americans!)

For great pickled peppers: take fully ripe red jalapeños; remove the stem end, cut in half, and scrape out the seeds with a teaspoon; quick-pickle according to instructions with ordinary supermarket pickling spice. No need to "can" with sterile jars and all that - just keep the jar in the 'fridge. Use pickled jalapeños on sandwiches or fill the halves with cream cheese.

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