Habanero peppers are a chili pepper that are green and color as they mature, often to orange and red.
Habaneros are rated from 100,000 to 350,000 Scoville units, whereas the Jalapeno pepper rates a maximum of 10,000 and the Naga (ghost) chili pepper rates well over 1 million Scoville units.
The Habanero originated in the Amazonas region of South America and spread north into Mexico and the Caribbean. The oldest known domesticated Habanero was found in a cave in Peru and dated to 6500 B.C. (8500 years ago).
The Habanero plant is a perennial, and can bear fruit for several years, although it is treated mostly as an annual. It grows in dry, slightly acidic soil.
Habaneros freeze well, especially whole and in vacuum sealed bags. The peppers can also be diced up small and kept in olive oil in the fridge for adding to dishes.
Habaneros contain a high concentration of minerals, vitamins, soluble fiber, and capsaicin. Some evidence points toward Habanero consumption as a means to help diabetics control their insulin levels. The pepper also contains significant amounts of Vitamins A and C, (anti-oxidants) and capsaicin has shown to fight the growth of prostate cancer cells in the laboratory.
The Habanero chili pepper also lays claim to lowering cholesterol due to the capsaicin, which also limits the production of “Substance P”, a neuropeptide that is responsible for pain and swelling associated with inflammation.
Habaneros have been used in candy, jellies & jams, sauces, ice creams, teas, and just about any dish you can imagine.