Hot Peppers- The Heat or spiciness of peppers is based on the content of Capsician. This component is thought to be useful to pepper plants as a deterrent against attack from certain mammals. Fortunately, some of the human race have developed a taste for the heat in peppers. Spicy foods are traditional in many cultures around the world.
The Scoville Heat Unit (SHU)- Humans, being competitive, have developed a numeric index to assign a level of spiciness or heat to peppers. The higher the number, the hotter the pepper. The garden variety Bell or Sweet pepper has a zero SHU, while the hottest peppers (Carolina Reaper, Pepper X, Dragon’s Breath are recent examples) have SHU numbers at or above 2 Million. The Jalapeño pepper comes in around 5,000 SHU.
Immature Fatalii Peppers on the vine...getting all jiggy.