Growing peppers, hot and hotter
Peppers are hot these days, both in the kitchen and the garden. Cooks stir up fiery Thai and Indian curries, or spicy Jamaican stews, and seed companies stand ready to light the match for those who grow their own heat.
Burpee offers 13 hot peppers (compared with 20 sweet), each marked with one, two or three little red flames, to signal “mildly hot,” “red hot” or “12 alarm.” John Scheepers Kitchen Garden Seeds has 17 hot (14 sweet), listed in ascending rank on the Scoville scale, from barely warm Pepperoncinis (100 to 500 Scoville heat units) all the way to the incendiary Caribbean Red Habanero, with up to 400,000. That’s well below police-grade pepper spray, at 5 million, but hot enough to get some respect.