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Habanero peppers

Fresh habanero peppers.

Danita Delimont / Getty Images

Habanero (pronounced "ha-ba-NAIR-o") peppers are small, hot, chili peppers that are grown in Mexico and other parts of Latin America as well as in the U.S. Habanero peppers are short and squat with thin skin and are usually an orange or red color.

Because they are extremely hot, Habanero peppers are usually not eaten whole but are widely used in making salsas, sauces, salad dressings and as an ingredient in bottled hot sauce. Habaneros are sometimes mistaken for Scotch bonnet peppers, which they resemble and which are equally hot.

Habaneros have a slightly fruity flavor which can be enhanced by roasting the peppers. Roasting them also mellows their heat somewhat.

Habanero peppers register between 100,000 and 350,000 Scoville heat units on the Scoville Scale.

Common Misspelling: Habañero

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