Adapted from Jim Conrad's
Naturalist Newsletter of July 13, 2007
issued from Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve,


One reason I was tickled with Pancho's invitation to visit his mountain rancho is that Pancho's wife, Aurora, makes the best-tasting hotsauce I've ever eaten. Sunday I wasn't disappointed, either, for the scrambled eggs arrived swimming in it.

I think one of Aurora's secrets is that instead of using the usual jalapeño or habenero peppers, in her stone metate she grinds the tiny pepper called chili pequín (peh-KEEN). Chili pequines are graced with a rich smoky/citrus/nutty flavor, and they're much hotter than jalapeños.

You can see several dried Chili Pequines in my hand below:


That picture shows that chili pequines are tiny. Taxonomically they're CAPSICUM ANNUM var GLABRIUSCULUM. Green and red peppers belong to the genus Capsicum, and they're divided into a few species:

Since jalapeños and bell peppers belong to the same species, when they're planted together in a garden they can mix -- which you know if you've ever planted sweet bell peppers next to jalapeños, and ended up with very hot bell peppers.

Above I said that Chili Pequines are hotter than jalapeños. On the "Chili Pepper Hotness Scale" page at we see that pepper hotness can be rated according to "Scoville Units." Here's how various peppers rate: