Chili Peppers - Featured

The Scoville Heat Index was created in 1912 by pharmacist Wilbur Scoville. This was developed to measure the pungency or spice heat of chiles and originally began as a subjective taste test, YIKES! It has since grown into an official measurement that calculates the amount of capsaicin (aka what creates the heat sensation) in a pepper.

The greater the number of Scoville units, the hotter the pepper. Currently, the hottest chile is Smokin Ed’s ‘Carolina Reaper,’ which is grown in the United States. This tiny pepper will leave your taste buds wanting relief, with an average score of 1,569,300. We’re sweating just thinking about it! While we don’t offer these specific peppers at Publix, we do carry a few others that pack a punch. Try these if you’re looking for a little kick.


Scoville Heat Unit (SHU): 1,000 – 3,500

Only slightly spicier than a bell pepper, poblanos are on the milder end of the Scoville Scale. Their flavor is somewhat sweet and they have a raisin-like texture. These mild peppers originated in the state of Puebla, Mexico and have since become one of the most popular peppers. Poblano peppers are used in many ways and often provide the perfect amount of mild heat for any recipe. When fully ripened, they turn red. When dried out, they develop additional sweetness and are known as ancho chile peppers. Both poblano and ancho peppers are most commonly used in authentic Mexican cooking, making them a staple in red chile and tamale dishes! Give this pepper a try by making our Corn and Poblano salad.

Poblano Pepper


Scoville Heat Unit (SHU): 3,500 – 10,000

Taking a step up from poblanos, jalapeños add a little more kick. These medium heat peppers originated in Mexico and have been around for centuries. What many are not familiar with is that these spicy peppers come in two colors — red and green. While they are the same pepper, this color difference is due to how soon the peppers have been picked from the vine. When a jalapeño is left on the vine to ripen, it becomes red, causing more capsaicin to grow within the pepper. Reminder, capsaicin is what gives peppers their heat. The more capsaicin, the spicier they become! Red jalapeños are a little harder to come by, but give them a try in our fish tacos recipe.

 Jalapeno Pepper

Hungarian Wax Pepper

Scoville Heat Unit (SHU): 5,000 – 15,000

Hungarian wax peppers are not to be confused with banana peppers as they are almost 10 times hotter! Phew, let’s not make that mistake. Native to Hungary, these wax peppers offer quite the kick. Being large (typically 4-6 inches in length), wax peppers are great to cook with. Popular recipes include stuffed peppers as well as stews or hot sauces.

Hungarian Wax Pepper



Scoville Heat Unit (SHU): 100,000 – 350,000

These peppers aren’t for the novice spice eater. Though small, habaneros pack some serious heat. These peppers can make their way up to 140 times hotter than a jalapeño! Originating in the Amazonas region of South America centuries ago, they are now grown all throughout South America and Mexico. The habanero once held the score of the hottest pepper. It may no longer be the hottest pepper, but it’ll still knock your socks off! Although there isn’t much difference in taste, their colors do range from reds to yellows, and even a dark brown. You’ll find these used in popular spice jam spreads or jerk chicken recipes. We suggest starting with a jalapeño before working your way up to this fire bomb.

Habanero Pepper


Feeling the heat? Let us know what recipes you toss these peppers in.

Sasha W.

Written by

Sasha W. began her career at Publix in 2007 as a cashier and has since gained experience in both Event Planning and Social Media – which is perfect, because the combination of those two interests are what drive the writing behind her favorite blog posts! A New England girl turned southern belle, Sasha loves taking her puppy on tropical adventures all throughout Florida. Describing herself as fifty percent manatee and fifty percent flamingo, Sasha hopes to bring fun and unique ideas to your future events!

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