Using Pequin Peppers

Pequin pepper is a hot chile pepper that is also known as “bird pepper”. This pepper is a very tiny fruit measuring 2mm or less but packs a punch when it is ripe. Like many of its other chile friends, this pepper starts out green and ripens to a bright red. The flavor is described as citrusy, smoky and nutty and very rich.  It comes in mid-range on the Soville scale around 40-50,000 unit.

The Pequin pepper is actually a delicate plant to grow and if it is handled too much the plant will not survive. It is also dependent on rainfall so it only grows in hot climates in northern Mexico and south Texas areas. It is unique in that the fruit will not turn black if it is in a humid climate. But because it is such a delicate plant to grow and harvest, it is not grown by many novices.  Mainly experienced growers will take on this pepper.

Pequin peppers are mainly used in pickling, salsas and sauces, soups, and vinegars. The popular Cholula brand hot sauce uses pequin peppers which give it its unique flavor.  Most people like them fresh but they can be used dried or ground into a powder as well.

This pepper is not usually easily found in grocery stores unless you live in a region where they are grown.  They are available online in dried or ground forms which make it easier to ship and use in your dishes.


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