When it comes to spice, the prevailing trend has been more, more, more. We’ve seen a growing lust for crazy hot sauces, and far too many painful YouTube pepper challenges. Pepper growers have even been engaging in “pepper wars” to try to set new records for heat on the Scoville scale. But as NPR reports, there is another way. Some chefs have been finding excitement on the opposite end of the spectrum, serving up a relatively new type of pepper called a “Habanada” – aka the “heatless habanero.”
Habanadas were developed by Michael Mazourek, a Cornell University plant breeder. As the story is told, he came across a genetic misfit of a pepper that had somehow lost as its heat. Though that crazy pepper “tasted pretty bad,” as he described it to NPR, “we cross-pollinated it with a habanero, and after a couple more generations we started to get some non-hot but aromatic peppers.” And in 2007, the Habanada was born.
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