There are probably 50,000 varieties of peppers grown worldwide that range in size, shape, color and, most importantly, heat level. Just looking at a pepper won't reveal how hot it is, so it's best to find out where it falls on something called the Scoville scale, which measures peppers based on Scoville heat units (SHU). Sweet peppers, like bell peppers, are at the bottom of the scale because they don't contain a mouth-burning chemical called capsaicin. Meanwhile, the mild Poblano falls around 1,500 SHU and the face-melting Carolina Reaper clocks in at 1.5 million SHU. If you can't handle the heat, be sure to discard the seeds and white ribs of the pepper before you cook it, because this is where much of the capsaicin is located. And if the meal is still too hot, keep a glass of milk or container of yogurt nearby because they both contain casein, which counteracts capsaicin. Use F&W's guide to peppers to get recipes for every course from around the globe.

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