Coyote Valley Chile Pepper Specialty Crop Trial
Pepper Plots on Uesugi Farms
Discover Coyote Valley has been working with UC Cooperative Extension in researching chile pepper cultivation in Coyote Valley.
Over 70 varieties of chile peppers are grown in Santa Clara County. In 2013, Santa Clara County growers harvested two thousand acres of peppers.
The Chile Pepper Plots are grown on Uesugi Farms, which farms in 80 acres in the Coyote Valley.
Over 65 of different chile types are growing and being harvested in these plots.
Check out the Coyote Valley Chile Pepper Primer (PDF) with information on all the different pepper varieties
What makes Chile Peppers Spicy?
Capsaicin is the compound in chile peppers that give them their heat! The Capsaicin in chiles is found mostly in the white membranes and seeds of chile peppers- so the more of those you keep in while cooking or eating, the hotter it will be. Capsaicin isn’t soluble in water- meaning that drinking water will not help relieve the heat! Try another drink like milk to sooth the burn.
Heat and flavor usually increase with maturity. Hot peppers are typically green in early maturity but quickly turn colors including yellow, orange, purple, red, or chocolate brown depending on the type.
Chile pepper heat is measured in “Scoville heat units”.
Take a look at the Scoville Ratings for different Peppers (PDF).
- Bell peppers have no capsaicin and are rated at zero
- Jalapeno peppers range from 2,000 to 25,000 units
- The Habanero pepper is rated as high as 1 million units!
Cooking with Chile Peppers
Chile peppers are incredibly versatile and delicious in cooking. Use just a little bit to add the right amount of heat, or have them be a feature of your dish. Chile peppers are used in all sorts of dishes from all around the world.
From Mark Miller’s “The Great Salsa Book”
2 tb Fresh lime juice
3/4 c Fresh cilantro leaves
1 ts Salt
1 ts Sugar
1 lb Tomatillos, roughly chopped
3 Serrano chiles, with seeds
Place all the ingredients in a food processor or blender and puree.
This recipe yields about 2 cups.
Its a great dip, sandwich spread, grilled fish topper, use as a layer in your baked lasagna, use as stuffing in your pork chop (make pockets in your thick pork chop and stuff it and pan roast), stuffing for chicken breast (make pockets in the chicken breast stuff and pan roast), butterfly a leg of lamb and spread it in the middle and roll up tie with string and roast… and of course whatever else you can think of!