These little gems are also called bird's eye or bird peppers. Some say they are hotter than habaneros, but at that level, who cares? Tepins are close to the ancestor of all the cultivated C. annuum varieties. They are similar to chile piquins, but are pea shaped instead of bullet shaped. They grow wild in Mexico and the southern U.S. (including Florida), but are difficult to get to germinate in the home garden. (The seeds germinate readily after passing through a bird's digestive system, though.) Tepins are harvested by breaking off whole branches and letting the little balls of fire dry before shaking them off. They are also used fresh in the green and ripe stages. In Mexico tepins are used to season just about everything on the table.