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Habenero vs Scotch Bonnet


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I'm reading differing opinions all over the place. Some say that there is little discernible difference between them while others say that scotch bonnets are irreplaceable. I made some beef patties using Habeneros the other day and while they were very good, it just didn't have that Caribbean "flavor", or at least it wasn't as pronounced. I don't know if that had to do with the fact that I used Habeneros or if there was some flaw in my cooking.

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Bear in mind they're both varieties of the same species, Capsicum chinense, so there's no sharp dividing line between them.  Meanwhile, chiles in general vary greatly depending on seed stock and growing conditions. Where are you located?  Do you have access to good chiles at a farmer's market or are you limited to what's in mass distribution?

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Heat level wise they are very similar, flavour wise, I  prefer Scotch Bonnets .. They tend to  have a fruitier flavour .

"Why is the rum always gone?"

Captain Jack Sparrow

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Doesn't matter what others say, what matters is what you like.

I also prefer Scotch Bonnets if given a choice between the two.

~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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Bear in mind they're both varieties of the same species, Capsicum chinense, so there's no sharp dividing line between them.  Meanwhile, chiles in general vary greatly depending on seed stock and growing conditions. Where are you located?  Do you have access to good chiles at a farmer's market or are you limited to what's in mass distribution?

 

I'm pretty much using the Habaneros I can find at any grocery store. The ones I've been using have been ranging from orange to red. While I do get a similar aroma when I'm cutting into them, they develop into something a little different when I cooked them out

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Bear in mind they're both varieties of the same species, Capsicum chinense, so there's no sharp dividing line between them.  Meanwhile, chiles in general vary greatly depending on seed stock and growing conditions. Where are you located?  Do you have access to good chiles at a farmer's market or are you limited to what's in mass distribution?

Hello- You make a very interesting and important point. The taste of any minimally processed food is going to reflect its growing conditions. This is true of wine and tea, it makes sense that it would apply to peppers.

"As life's pleasures go, food is second only to sex.Except for salami and eggs...Now that's better than sex, but only if the salami is thickly sliced"--Alan King (1927-2004)

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In the DC area I've only seen habaneros

 

I've given up on trying to find Scotch Bonnets. I might get lucky one day and randomly find them, but I've scoured and called every farmers market and grocery store I could find and none of them have it. 

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I've given up on trying to find Scotch Bonnets. I might get lucky one day and randomly find them, but I've scoured and called every farmers market and grocery store I could find and none of them have it. 

 

maybe you should consider moving to the Netherlands, or the Caribbean countries :laugh: - just kidding.

 

In NL, they are easily available in 'farmers markets', and sometimes even in the mainstream supermarkets, due to the Surinamese diaspora.  However, habaneros are not that easy to find. If there are Caribbean or Suriname/Guyana grocery stores anywhere near you, you may have a better chance of finding them (you are unlikely to find them in Chinese or even indian grocery stores).

 

How about growing them yourself? the season is over unless you have grow lights, etc. 

 

while Scotch bonnets belong to the same species as habaneros, i do not think that plant taxonomist consider the  cooking properties and flavor profile in their classifications.

 

Scotch bonnets and habaneros, IMO, definitely have distinct and different taste/flavor profiles, once you get over the heat, or adjust the heat level until you can taste the difference between these 2 'chilli peppers', or any other chillies for that matter.

 

BTW, in my experience, scotch bonnets are definitely way  hotter than habaneros.

It's dangerous to eat, it's more dangerous to live.

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if scotch bonnets are really rare where you live , you could try finding a bottle of Grace Scotch bonnet Sauce.    The orange   was my go to favourite hot sauce for years, until I tried the less easy to find green . I almost always have a bottle of one or the other going in my fridge , even when I can get fresh pods. 

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"Why is the rum always gone?"

Captain Jack Sparrow

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The labeling is completely random here in NYC.

 

I was about to agree that Scotch Bonnets are unavailable, when I realize that what I regularly buy labeled as habaneros are actually Scotch Bonnets!

 

See the Serious Eats article on how to distinguish between the two.

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if scotch bonnets are really rare where you live , you could try finding a bottle of Grace Scotch bonnet Sauce.    The orange   was my go to favourite hot sauce for years, until I tried the less easy to find green . I almost always have a bottle of one or the other going in my fridge , even when I can get fresh pods. 

 

Grace hot sauce is my *favorite* hot sauce, and it is dirt cheap. Absolutely love it. For some reason it has become increasingly rare in my area. I can't say I've ever seen the green one before but if I ever find it...let the hoarding begin

 

 

 

See the Serious Eats article on how to distinguish between the two.

 

 

Do you mind linking the article? I'm not sure if I'm looking at the right one

Edited by takadi (log)
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Here you go - 

 

Habaneros tend to be more smoothly tapered from their stem to their tip, while Scotch bonnets have a more distinct double-bell shape, their tops spilling over like a fat man wearing a too-tight belt.

 

With photo (scroll down to third photo)
 
Edited by patrickamory (log)
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In NL, they are easily available in 'farmers markets', and sometimes even in the mainstream supermarkets, due to the Surinamese diaspora.  However, habaneros are not that easy to find. If there are Caribbean or Suriname/Guyana grocery stores anywhere near you, you may have a better chance of finding them (you are unlikely to find them in Chinese or even indian grocery stores).

Sometimes is all the time in my area, if we are sure it's actually a scotch bonnet in the first place. I do get confused as there seems to be quite the mix up with ajuma's, which look a lot like scotch bonnets and they often label them madame jeanets anyway. I haven't seen them labelled as scotch bonnets in ages anymore. Madame jeanets look a bit different, so I think I can distinguish these succesfully, but these are less common available.

Still waiting for fresh habanero's, but the dried ones are on the rise and the mainstream supermarkets now carry hot sauces including not only habanero, but also chipotle. I even picked up a pack of dried habanero's at a Chinese store a while back and had even happier times when I found another chinense, the aji panca as a paste at an Asian-Caribbean store :wub:

 

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To Takadi and anyone else in the DC area,

 

There's a Latino-Caribbean market in the Union Market wholesale complex that has what I'm fairly positive are Scotch Bonnets. It's on 4th Street (NE), not sure of the name, but there are only a tiny handful of such stores selling produce on that block.

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To Takadi and anyone else in the DC area,

 

There's a Latino-Caribbean market in the Union Market wholesale complex that has what I'm fairly positive are Scotch Bonnets. It's on 4th Street (NE), not sure of the name, but there are only a tiny handful of such stores selling produce on that block.

 

Thanks Hassouni, I'll be checking it out. I'm heading over there for the farmer's market so I'll stop by. 

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Sometimes is all the time in my area, if we are sure it's actually a scotch bonnet in the first place. I do get confused as there seems to be quite the mix up with ajuma's, which look a lot like scotch bonnets and they often label them madame jeanets anyway. I haven't seen them labelled as scotch bonnets in ages anymore. Madame jeanets look a bit different, so I think I can distinguish these succesfully, but these are less common available.

 

 

I did a search on google and found this wikipedia link below. It may clear up some of the confusion over various capsicum species and cultivars. If you just want to know the differences between adjuma, madame jeanette, habanero, and scotch bonnet, then just scroll down to capsicum chinense.
 
Yes, in the Netherlands the label Scotch bonnet is not used, and i had just assumed, incorrectly, it is what is known here locally as adjuma. According to the wiki link, these are 2 different cultivars. They look distinctly different and the Scotch bonnet has a heat ranking of 150K-325K Scoville, while adjuma is ranked 100K-500K Scoville. 
 
From the pictures in the wiki link, the habanero looks similar to adjuma. The habanero has a rating of 100K-350k Scoville.
 
The Indian-Surinamese stall in the farmers market that i sometimes frequent do not label their produce. They also have Madame Jeanette (which as you said are not the same as adjuma, and look distinctly different). Both of these cultivars originate from that part of S America. 
 
In any case, all of these chilli peppers are mighty hot and should satisfy most ‘scoville heads’ and/or those having a refined palate that can distinguish between the different flavor/taste profiles of these cultivars, once they get over or adjust the heat levels of their cooking.
 
In my earlier post, when i wrote “sometimes even in the mainstream supermarkets,” i meant that it is not available, at least in my neighborhood, at Albert Heijn. It is available at Dirk van den Broek, but the turnover for these peppers is low and therefore not always fresh. There are other smaller grocery chains that i do not frequent as they are not convenient from where i live and do not know if they stock them. I do know and buy from Turkish/Morrocan grocery stores (the moms and pops) and they do stock the peppers. 

It's dangerous to eat, it's more dangerous to live.

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To me the adjuma and scotch bonnet still look pretty similar on those pics, but I will pay extra attention to details from now on :biggrin:

It's nice to support independent stores and if they're conveniently located for you, it's not a problem.

Otherwise, you could check with Albert Heijn to see if they want to order it in for you. I bought one there last week to make ghoegrie, so there's access and it will be probably be fresher than at Dirk's. There might be a problem if it's just the odd one or two i.s.o. of a batch though.

Edited by CeeCee (log)
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