Have you ever wondered where jalapenos come from? These spicy peppers are a staple in Mexican cuisine and have become popular all around the world. Jalapenos are used in everything from traditional salsas to spicy margaritas. In this article, we’ll take a look at the origin story of jalapenos and explore some interesting facts about these spicy peppers.
The History of Jalapenos
Jalapenos are thought to have originated in Mexico, specifically in the state of Veracruz. The word “jalapeno” comes from the Nahuatl word “xalapan” which means “sand near the water”.
The Evolution of Jalapenos
Jalapenos have undergone quite a bit of evolution over the years. The peppers that we now know as jalapenos are thought to be a cross between two other peppers: the Peruvian ají and the Mexican pepper. Over time, jalapenos became more and more popular in Mexican cuisine.
In the early 1900s, jalapenos made their way to the United States thanks to immigrant farmers. The peppers grew well in the hot, dry climate of the American Southwest and quickly became a popular ingredient in Tex-Mex cuisine.
The Production of Jalapenos
Today, Mexico remains the largest producer of jalapenos in the world. The state of Veracruz is still one of the largest growing regions for the peppers, but they are also grown in other parts of Mexico and in the United States.
Most jalapenos are harvested when they are still green, but some varieties are allowed to ripen to a red color before being picked. Jalapenos are typically sold fresh, but they can also be canned or pickled for use in recipes throughout the year.
Interesting Facts About Jalapenos
The Scoville Scale
If you’re a fan of spicy food, you’ve probably heard of the Scoville scale. This scale is used to measure the spiciness of chili peppers. Jalapenos typically rate between 2,500 and 8,000 on the Scoville scale. For comparison, a bell pepper rates at 0, and a habanero rates at around 300,000.
Jalapenos are not only delicious, but they also provide some nutritional benefits. They are a good source of vitamin C and vitamin B6. They also contain capsaicin, which has been shown to have anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties.
Jalapenos in Pop Culture
Jalapenos have made their way into a variety of pop culture references over the years. In the movie Nacho Libre, Jack Black eats a whole plate of pickled jalapenos. The band The Offspring’s hit song “Pretty Fly (For A White Guy)” also includes the lyrics “Give it to me baby, uh-huh, uh-huh / Spicy Tuna Roll, Uh-huh, uh-huh.”
How to Use Jalapenos in Your Cooking
Adding Heat to Your Recipes
Jalapenos are a great way to add some heat to your recipes. They can be diced up and added to salsas or guacamole, or they can be minced and added to chili or stews. For those who like things a bit spicier, jalapenos can even be used to make hot sauce or chili paste.
Jalapeno poppers are a popular appetizer that can be found in many bars and restaurants. To make jalapeno poppers, cut the tops off of jalapenos and remove the seeds and membranes. Fill each pepper with cream cheese or another type of cheese, then wrap them in bacon or coat them in bread crumbs. Bake in the oven until the cheese is melted and the peppers are tender.
Jalapenos are a versatile and delicious pepper that have become a staple in many households. Whether you’re adding some heat to your favorite recipe or making a batch of jalapeno poppers, these spicy peppers are sure to add some flavor to your life!
FAQs About Jalapenos
- Where do jalapenos originate?
- How spicy are jalapenos?
- What are the nutritional benefits of jalapenos?
- How are jalapenos used in cooking?
Jalapenos are thought to have originated in Mexico, specifically in the state of Veracruz.
Jalapenos typically rate between 2,500 and 8,000 on the Scoville scale.
Jalapenos are a good source of vitamin C and vitamin B6. They also contain capsaicin, which has been shown to have anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties.
Jalapenos can be diced up and added to salsas or guacamole, or they can be minced and added to chili or stews. They can also be used to make hot sauce or chili paste. Jalapeno poppers are a popular appetizer that can be found in many bars and restaurants.
- BBC Good Food. (n.d.). Jalapeno. Retrieved from https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/glossary/jalapeno
- History.com Editors. (2009, November 5). Jalapeno pepper. Retrieved from https://www.history.com/topics/food/jalapeno-pepper
- Mejia, D. (2018, September 14). Here’s why you can’t skip jalapeños in your salsas, guacamoles and stews. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved from https://www.latimes.com/food/dailydish/la-dd-jalapenos-history-recipes-20180906-story.html