There are an estimated 50,000 varieties of peppers grown worldwide that range in size, shape, color and, most importantly, heat level. Before you bite in, it's best to find out where a pepper falls on something called the Scoville scale, which measures peppers based on Scoville Heat Units (SHU). Sweet varieties like bell peppers are at the bottom of the scale because they don't contain a mouth-burning chemical called capsaicin. 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 a hot pepper's seeds and white ribs before you cook it-that's where much of the capsaicin hides out. And if the meal is still too hot, keep a glass of milk or a container of yogurt nearby. They both contain casein, which counteracts capsaicin. Whether you're craving sweet or spicy varieties, F&W's guide to peppers offers recipes for every course from around the globe.

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How to Make the Ultimate Hatch Chiles Rellenos
Charred and stuffed, New Mexico’s signature pepper takes chiles rellenos to the next level.
New Mexico Red Chile Sauce
Vibrantly red with mild piquancy and earthiness from New Mexico dried chile powder and ground cumin, this chile sauce is the perfect balance to the cheesy, fried relleno, simple fried eggs, or tacos.
Hatch Chiles Rellenos
Hatch chiles stand out for their balanced sweet heat that takes on a subtle smokiness and buttery quality once roasted. Here, recipe developer Paige Grandjean (whose aunt married into the Franzoy family, who first commercialized Hatch chiles in the early 1900s) uses the roasted chiles to make Hatch chiles rellenos, oozing with asadero cheese. Whipped egg whites give the simple batter a delicate structure; it fries up golden brown and airy, encasing the flavorful Hatch chiles. Fold the egg whites into the batter just before frying to keep it nice and fluffy. Try this with Grandjean's quick and easy homemade red chile sauce.
The Pandemic Can't Stop Hatch Chile Season
Popular in New Mexico, Texas, and Colorado, green chiles are the best harbingers of fall.
Charred Shishito Peppers with Garlic-Herb Oil
At his sleek Houston bar, chef Justin Yu pairs blistered shishito peppers with bright green, zesty garlic-herb oil, a take on persillade. You’ll want to keep this stuff around—it’s fantastic drizzled on salads or tossed with hot pasta. Slideshow: More Pepper Recipes 
5 Things You Didn’t Know About Hatch Chiles
New Mexico's most famous chile is more popular than ever.

More Peppers

Roasted, grilled or fried--peppers are super versatile and packed with nutrients. Whether you're looking for dinner-worthy stuffed peppers or a simple side dish, these recipes will add color to your table.
From a mustardy habanero hot sauce to grilled corn with mango-habanero butter, here are some exciting recipes featuring habanero chili peppers.

Roasted Peppers with Garlicky Breadcrumbs

Mimi Thorisson tops sweet roasted peppers with her deliciously garlicky and salty homemade breadcrumbs. Slideshow:  More Roasted Vegetable Recipes