Pequin Pepper

Pequin Pepper


Scientific Classification

Capsicum annuum

Heat rating in Scovilles:

40000 – 60000

Pequin pepper, or Piquín, (pronunciation pee/puh-KEEN) is a hot chile pepper cultivar commonly used as a spice. The popular Cholula brand hot sauce lists pequin peppers and arbol peppers among its ingredients.

So I’ve read that a Pequin is a compact plant growing typically 11 – 24 inches tall, but the 3 wild Pequin plants I have growing in my yard are about 5 – 6 ft tall. Photos of one are below. I know tahey have been here for many, many years. We trim them down every year and they grow like crazy the next season. I’m in Southern California, so that’s probably why this plant thrives year after year with pretty much no maintenance.

The Pequin has small fruits that rarely exceed 2 cm (about 1/2 inch – 3/4 inch at the most) in length. Like most chiles, fruits start out green, ripening to brilliant red at maturity.

Flavor: Pequin peppers have a flavor that is somewhat citrusy with a touch of smokiness and they are quite hot. I popped one in my mouth today and they do pack a punch! The heat tends to be a front of the tongue hot, but I didn’t feel like the burn lasted all that long. Let’s just say I wasn’t searching for relief after eating this pepper.

Culinary Use: What I do with all my pequin peppers is dry them and coarsely grind them up into red pepper flakes. Now my red pepper flakes are much hotter than the red pepper flakes you’d purchase at the store or get a pizzeria, which I prefer. Still great on pizza, just much hotter!

Fun Facts: Cobán is a piquín chile that has been smoked. They are also known as ‘dogs teeth’ pepper in Nicaragua.

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