I have known a lot of people who love peppers and it would seem that to be a pepper head you must love heat. Loving heat may be true of most pepper heads but I have known some people who are not all that fond of the extreme heat some peppers can give, but can enjoy lower doses of heat with their food. Just because someone says no to a scorpion pepper does not mean they must turn in their pepper head card. I have cooked for a lot of different people in my time and the one thing I found is that people’s tastes vary. I would surmise, that peoples varying tastes when it comes to peppers, and the heat peppers bring to the table, is what has helped to give us the wide varieties we see in today’s enormous pepper selection.
I have cooked for people who say they can’t stand peppers, sweet or otherwise. If I can get them to try a dish that I have made they are shocked to find that they enjoyed the dish. This is not because I am a master cook, quite the contrary. I do know that a lot of people fear heat, and that fear translates into a dislike for the pepper itself, and that is truly a shame. Peppers are one of the most versatile of all the fruits out there. When you cook them, how long you cook them, what heat you cook them are all determining factors that will go into what the end product tastes like.
My mother is a prime example of this; she hates anything “too spicy”. Since I do not know what “too spicy” is I had to guess. I would cook a meal with a very mild pepper like a jalapeño that had been deseeded with the ribs removed (deseeding and removing the ribs of any pepper greatly reduces the heat in the pepper). The next dish I left the seeds in and made a kind of buffalo sauce for some leftover chicken and she loved it. What I came to find was that my mother’s taste was not so mild, she was just afraid of getting burned, but seemed to like that “tingly” feeling on the lips. I learned this lesson a long, long, time ago. Once I realized that people fear to taste what they have never tasted, I have been turning people into pepper lovers ever since.
Even if you are a person who truly dislikes the heat of peppers, there are sweet peppers, bell peppers, banana peppers, bell peppers, green, red and orange, I could go on forever. I am sure you will find one you like among the hundreds of varieties out there, and when you do you can proudly call yourself a pepper head. Because after all, it’s not the heat that makes the pepper, it’s the flavor and what you can create with that flavor. I hope you are enjoying the blog. If there is anything you would like me to write about, or any questions that you have, please let me know and I will do my best to get you some answers.