With soil crafted from lava brought forth from deep within our earth and water filtered by rainbows, we have no choice but to bring you the absolute very best in quality peppers!
Lets begin with the ingredient that takes this from a simple culinary stroke of genius to a fiery burst of enlightenment... The PEPPERS!
All knowledge below has been gleaned through personal experience, a.k.a. school of hard knocks. Such enlightened gems as, 'after handling peppers, best not to wipe eyes, touch the bits and pieces (private parts) or really any part of body.'. That was a tough one, especially after the 30th time or so... Le Sigh...
We also take directly from resources on the net. Why not right, its why its there. For instance, a vast majority of what you will read below is lovingly taken from Wikipedia except for the pictures, thats all us!.
Ghost Pepper/White Ghost*
This is an interspecific hybrid chili pepper (we have no idea what that means, we could look it up but that wouldn't have the comedic value) cultivated in the Indian states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam (we feel Assam sounds way cooler, but that's not the point of this is it), Nagaland and Manipur. It is an interspecies hybrid of C. chinense and C. frutescens genes. Ahhhhhh, now I kinda get the interspecific thing...
In 2007, Guinness World Records certified that the ghost pepper was the world's hottest chili pepper, 400 times hotter than Tabasco sauce. The ghost chili is rated at more than 1 million Scoville heat units (SHUs). However, the ghost chili was shortly superseded by the Infinity chili in 2011, followed by the Naga Viper, the Trinidad moruga scorpion in 2012, and the Carolina Reaper on August 7, 2013.
We personally love the Ghost Chili for a few reasons we feel are pretty rock solid.:
The primary reason the Ghost favors in so strongly is that it was the first pepper (actually three) given to me (by smilin' Joe the Pepper Man) in pod form that I seeded and had success with the starts. Upon this success, I then found out that a friend (Farmer Jessica - read about her!) was growing them and it seemed upon comparison with my plants that her plants too were close to being on par with the Hawaiian Chili in their ability to withstand wind, rain and the occasional abject lack of water when Lauren and I get lost in the clouds and expect the cat to take care of things. So, intense heat, amazing bouquet of flavor and able to survive the kitties ministrations, well, duh, winner! If you missed it, this company was started by three Ghost Chili pods. Even as i write this, how f%$#n' cool is that?!
The flavor is exceptional, at once making me feel like a Pirate in the Caribbean and a fool who just ate a pepper that had a Guinness Book of World Records Spot. The heat is magical. Its the only way to describe it, it produces an abundance of feel good chemicals in ones body at the same time I have been known to vomit when eating one raw. This flexibility of heat and flavor is what makes it a perfect compliment to our sauces and shakes as we can use a wee little bit, or we can rock and roll and let the chips fall where they may.
*The White Ghost pepper is a different variant and will therefore have different properties but as yet we are un-inclined to get too into it. The red and white while similar, are different. or as the Thai saying goes, "same same, but different".
The datil is an exceptionally hot pepper, a variety of the species Capsicum chinense (syn. Capsicum sinense). Datils are similar in strength to habaneros but have a sweeter, fruitier flavor. Their level of spiciness may vary from 100,000 to 300,000 on the Scoville scale. Mature peppers are about 3.5 in long and yellow-orange in color.
Datil peppers are cultivated throughout the United States and elsewhere, but the majority are produced in St. Augustine, Florida. Although local lore suggests datils were brought to St. Augustine by indentured workers from Minorca in the late 18th century, it is more likely they were brought from Cuba around 1880 by a jelly maker named S. B. Valls. As of late, some controversy has emerged over whether or not the true origin was resultant of the slave trade in St Augustine. The pepper is almost identical to a west African pepper called the fatalii or "fatal."
We personally have heard a few differing stories from hotheads such as yourself who have given us one that really stuck with us and would explain also the Tabasco pepper in Hawaii (the Hawaiian chili). The thought revolves around scurvy. Chili peppers are know for having a tremendous amount of vitamin C which would make them a great attribute on a sailing vessel. One 5 gallon pot could grow a plant that could conceivably take care of the vitamin C needs of a dozen sailors. when compared to the needs of the pepper verse the needs of a potted citrus, its a no brainer. We do not know this for sure, we weren't there right. We do know that this is a common practice on ships, and it would answer some of our questions quite nicely.
One of our favorites, Hawaiian Ghost which came to be when the Hawaiian chili was crossed with the traditional Ghost or Bhut Jolokia. A wonderfully flavored pepper that retains about 7/10ths (beware random percentages!) of the heat of the ghost and is a wonder to behold. Well, not so much, it looks like someone lopped off your pinky and colored it bright red. Sorry, easiest way to describe it.
The flavor is slightly less, how shall we say, dramatic than its progenitor the Ghost, but retains enough that we feel it merits mention as it is more than just heat. A clean and brief burst of citrus followed by a slightly mind numbing heat and bazinga, the Hawaiian Akua prevails.
No Wikipedia for it, so we're thinking we are going to trademark it, or do some kind of genetic all rights reserved and become millionaires. Until that daydream comes to fruition, we'll keep plugging away at the worlds finest sauces and call it a job well done. We chose the name 'Akua', as the general meaning is ghost. deeper and we feel more to the point, Akua means spirit, the essence of the spiritual self or where God resides.
A wonder of wonders, the Hawaiian is a direct descendant from the Tabasco, so much so I could just as easily cut and paste all the wiki knowledge regarding the Tabasco pepper and we would be good to go. Understanding the .05 percent variance that occurred through a good many years of mutation naturally which has now resulted in what we here call, the Hawaiian chili peppah. I'm guessing the pepper arrived on ships as this was a way that scurvy could be prevented. These little peppers each have 300% of your Vit. C needs for a day!
Habanero / Chocolate Habanero
The habanero chili comes from the Amazonas region, and from there it was spread through Mexico. One domesticated habanero, which was dated at 8,500 years old, was found at an archaeological dig in Peru. An intact fruit of a small domesticated habanero, found in pre-ceramic levels in Guitarrero Cave in the Peruvian highlands, was dated to 6500 BC.
The habanero was carried north to the Caribbean via Colombia. Upon its discovery by Spaniards, the habanero chili was rapidly disseminated to other adequate climate areas of the world, to the point that 18th-century taxonomists mistook for its place of origin and called it Capsicum chinense ("the Chinese pepper").
Today, the largest producer is Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. Habaneros are an integral part of Yucatecan food. Habanero chilies accompany most dishes in Yucatan, either in solid or purée/salsa form. Other modern producers include Belize, Panama, Costa Rica,Colombia, Ecuador, and parts of the United States, including Texas, Idaho, and California. While Mexico is the largest consumer of this spicy ingredient, its flavor and aroma have become increasingly popular all over the world.
The Scotch bonnet is often compared to the habanero, since they are two varieties of the same species, but have different pod types. Both the Scotch bonnet and the habanero have thin, waxy flesh. They have a similar heat level and flavor. Although both varieties average around the same level of "heat", the actual degree of piquancy varies greatly from one fruit to another with genetics, growing methods, climate, and plant stress.
The habanero's heat, its fruity, citrus-like flavor, and its floral aroma have made it a popular ingredient in hot sauces and spicy foods.
In 1999, the habanero was listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's hottest chili, but it has since been displaced by a number of other peppers, the record tending to change every few years. The bhut jolokia (or ghost pepper) and Trinidad moruga scorpion were eventually identified to be native Capsicum chinense subspecies even hotter than the habanero, and breeders constantly crossbreed the various subspecies to attempt to create cultivars for the Scoville scale record - for instance, the Carolina Reaper crosses a ghost pepper with a particularly piquant red habanero.
Most habaneros rate between 200,000 and 300,000 on the Scoville scale.
Chocolate or Black habanero is an alternative name often used to describe the dark brown variety of habanero chilis (although they are slightly different, being slightly smaller and slightly more sphere-shaped). Some seeds have been found which are thought to be over 7,000 years old. The black habanero has an exotic and unusual taste, and is hotter than a regular habanero with a rating between 400,000 and 450,000 Scoville units. Small slivers used in cooking can have a dramatic effect on the overall dish. Black habaneros take considerably longer to grow than other habanero chili varieties. In a dried form, they can be preserved for long periods of time, and can be reconstituted in water then added to sauce mixes. Previously known as habanero negro, or by their Nahuatl name, their name was translated into English by spice traders in the 19th century as "black habanero". The word "chocolate" was derived from the Nahuatl word, xocolātl, and was used in the description, as well (as "chocolate habanero"), but it proved to be unpronounceable to the British traders, so it was simply named "black habanero".
The jalapeño is variously named huachinango, for the ripe red jalapeño, and chile gordo (meaning "fat chili pepper") in Mexico.
The name jalapeño is Spanish for "from Xalapa" (also spelled Jalapa), a town in Veracruz, Mexico, where the pepper was traditionally cultivated.
Genetic analysis of Capsicum annuum places jalapeños as a distinct genetic clade with no close sisters that are not directly derived from jalapeños. Jalapeños were in use by the Aztec prior to the Spanish conquest; Bernardino de Sahagún in the Florentine Codex writes of Aztec markets selling Chipotles (smoked jalapeños), Mole made from chipotles, besides the sale of fresh chilies. The use of peppers in the Americas dates backs thousands of years, including the practice of smoking some varieties of peppers in order to preserve them; further well preserved samples and genetic testing would be needed to determine the usage and existence of the jalapeño clade and pod type into the past.
More pepper knowledge coming, feel free to send pics/lore/wisdom for inclusion!