Jalapeno is kind of a brother to Chile de Arbol, having its place in the Mexican Cuisine. It is one of the most known varieties of chilies in the entire world. Its spicy taste is so pleasant that you can hardly stay away from a jalapeno.
There is evidence that chili peppers were cultivated more than 6.000 years BC and that they were consumed from Bahamas to the Andes. They spread rapidly in Europe, Asia and Africa. The oldest notes about chilies were some ancient writings discovered in tombs in Peru.
After Christopher Columbus brought them in Europe (see the article on Chile de Arbol), chili peppers were grown as botanical curiosities by some people, especially in the gardens of Spanish and Portuguese monasteries. The nuns were interested in the culinary potential of the pepper and observed that it can replace black pepper, which was quite expensive back then.
In 1584 Clusius, the most famous botanist of the 16th century, described this vegetable as one of great importance, with a wide variety, from bell pepper to hot peppers.
Albert Szent Gyorgyi, a Hungarian American physiologist, first isolated vitamin C in crystalline state from chilies and won a Nobel Prize for that in 1937.
Jalapeno is actually a variety of green chili (red when ripe). It has small or medium size and can be hot, very hot or extremely hot. The pepper has a round top and is up to 2 inch long with a diameter ranging between 0.7 and 1 inch.
Jalapeno pulp is fleshy, which is why it’s used most often fresh. You may keep it in the freezer.
Besides the good taste, this chili is appreciated for the fact that seeds can be removed easily and so it can also be enjoyed by those who prefer a less spicy food. The ribs on the pepper indicate its age and how hot it is. The more ribs, the hotter the jalapeno. So keep this in mind when choosing your chilies.
Known for centuries as a natural remedy, hot peppers are good for both internal and external use.
The researchers found that hot peppers can increase the body temperature, which helps for burning calories and for the oxidation of fat layers.
Seasoning your food with chilies daily can lead to the decreasing of the appetite, which will have amazing consequences on your silhouette. The main ingredient in jalapeno as well as in other chilies, capsaicin has the ability to induce satiety and to cut cravings for fatty, sweet or savory foods. It also increases the metabolism. These effects will be stronger if you don’t usually eat chilies.
Also the capsaicin from jalapeno stimulates the activity of the brain and leads to the release of endorphin, the happiness hormone.
Chilies may be used for relieving pain in a lot of ailments, like lumbago, rheumatism, muscle cramps, sprains, etc. A chili cream has a warming effect due to the fact that it stimulates the blood and capsaicin has the wonderful property to inhibit pain.
Jalapenos pair with a lot of foods. They may be combined with cheese, with other veggies in soups, or with other spices like cinnamon.
Fresh or preserved, these peppers are used in many sauces as seasoning. They can also be filled with meat, cheese or fish, in which case they are considered true delicacies.
One of the best known ways of enjoying jalapeno is green Tabasco sauce. It has a milder flavor than the red one making it easier to eat.
One way to preserve it is to prepare pickles, but it won’t be as hot as the fresh one.
Because jalapeno is a thick pepper, it dries hard. Mexicans chose to preserve it as a smoked pepper. We are talking about the period before the existence of modern freezers. Once smoked jalapeno changes its name and becomes a variety called chipotle. This new flavor resembles a blend of chocolate with Tabasco.
Jalapeno or chipotle, it is for certain that this variety of chilies has made its way into the cuisines around the world.