Hot Peppers / Chiles
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All hot peppers belong to the Capsicum genus. There are countless varieties and to add to the confusion there are usually several common names refering to one same type. New varieties are constantly being "discovered", and appearing in fresh produce markets.
Hot peppers have almost no calories, are high in vitamin C and are essential in any fresh salsa, pickle or stir fry. They become hotter after ripening and can be dried to be used later. The seeds are the hottest part so take precautions when removing them.
Hot peppers come in an array of colors from reds and purples to yellows and blacks. To name a few: Thai, Habanero, Tabasco, Serrano are very hot and specially good in Caribbean cuisine. Ancho, Poblano, Chili and jalapeno are indispensable ground or fresh in moles, beans and other Mexican dishes.
Fiery hot Peruvian aji, Amarillo, Colorado limo and rocoto must be mentioned too, now that Andean Nouvelle Cuisine has been discovered.