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Working with a variation of this chili recipe I meticulously cleaned my peppers of seeds and veins to produce a 'milder' chili. Unfortunately this batch was almost 'too mild' (heat wise, the flavor was very good). I am thinking that next time around I will leave in some of the seeds/veins to give it just a bit more 'kick'.

The question is, given the choice of Anaheim, poblano and jalapeno peppers would it matter to the flavor which pepper I allow to be the source of the heat? I know that each pepper has it's own unique flavor to offer and each is going to provide a different 'level' of heat, but will the 'heat' taste differently based on the choice of pepper?

[for anyone interested, the variation that I apply is to substitute buffalo for ground beef and fresh tomatoes for the canned, I don't believe either should affect this question.]

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    It's actually a common misconception that the seeds are a significant source of heat; almost all of the heat comes from the oil which is itself mostly concentrated in the placenta (what you're calling "veins"). The seeds might take on some oil and be slightly hot, but you can remove the seeds and not notice much of a difference in the overall heat as long as you keep the placenta. – Aaronut Feb 6 '12 at 15:27
  • while I've not personally tested the question, I have heard (from 'reputable sources') that seeds are or are not a significant source of capsaicin. Just as I have heard the term veins, ribs and placenta used to describe the inner structure of the pepper which supports the seeds. – Cos Callis Feb 7 '12 at 3:28
  • This is actually previously discussed on Seasoned Advice. It is in fact called the placenta and contains the majority of the capsaicin, while the seeds produce hardly any. – Aaronut Feb 7 '12 at 13:10
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The heat is the same; all peppers contain capsaicin. The Scoville scale defines heat in terms of capsaicin content. Use the peppers that have the flavor you want, and make it as hot as you want, and you'll be set.

And the flavor besides heat is definitely concentrated in the flesh, so you shouldn't notice any real difference in pepper flavor either.

  • This is true, but I think what the question was really getting at was, do the seeds/veins impart any significant flavour other than the capsicum heat? – Aaronut Feb 6 '12 at 15:20
  • @Aaronut: Oh, oops, that wasn't how I understood it. Edited! – Cascabel Feb 6 '12 at 16:04
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It really is not as simple as that, or you can go the other route throw in what you got and see what it may have to much of or be lacking for you.

Disreguarding the heat differance in the peppers there are also great diferances in the flavors, of many your three choices included. The Choice of chili is more like 3 choices. heat, flavor/texture and amounts of chile and types, what will give you a desired result.

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The "flavor of the heat" has a lot to do with how the capsaicin is distributed in the sauce, and how it is contained in solid (if you added dry chili powder at the end of cooking), fat, alcohol (if there is any in the food), or water (which does not dissolve it well at all) phases, and also with how these phases are mixed (water+alcohol obviously mix, fat+water can be emulsified or separate).

Two different chile pepper preparations, added each in amounts which will add the same total capsaicin content to the dish, will only yield equivalent heat if, by cooking methods, the capsaicin is equally dissolved.

For example, 1g of dry bhut jolokia powder will not be a good substitute for 10-20g of dried cayenne pepper or 50g of deggi mirch, even if all the options are roughly equivalent in capsaicin, unless the dish is very rich and cooked for a significant time - the first option will present harshly spicy particles in an -on average- milder suspension to the tongue...

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