Scotch Bonnet (Capsicum chinense Jacq.) is a variety of chili pepper
similar to and of the same species as the habanero.
A cultivar of the
habanero, it is one of the hottest peppers in the world. Found mainly
in the Caribbean islands, it is named for its resemblance to a
Scotsman's bonnet. Most Scotch Bonnets have a heat rating of
100,000–325,000 Scoville Units.|
These peppers are used to flavour many different dishes and cuisines worldwide. Scotch Bonnet has a flavour distinct from its Habanero cousin. This gives Jerk dishes (pork/chicken) and other Caribbean dishes their unique flavour. Scotch Bonnets are especially used in Caymanian and Jamaican cooking, though they often show up in other Caribbean recipes.
Fresh ripe Scotch Bonnets or Habaneros change from green to colours ranging from pumpkin orange to scarlet red. Ripe peppers are prepared for cooking by cutting out the seeds inside the fruit which can be saved for cultivation and other culinary uses.
Scotch Bonnets look almost identical to a similar pepper called the "seasoning pepper", often eaten whole and raw, but this species has much less spice, and is used for its flavour, not heat. Eating whole, raw scotch bonnet peppers is not advised for those unaccustomed to eating very spicy food. Eaten raw, these peppers are also known to cause dizziness, numbness of hands and cheeks, and severe heartburn.
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