4
   

The heatless jalapeño and the bland American palate

 
 
Reply Mon 30 Jan, 2012 02:59 pm
For the past few years now the jalapeño peppers available in American supermarkets and grocery stores have increasingly decreased piquancy. It's gotten to the point where to make a decently piquant salsa or chile dish one has to use a fistful of peppers where in the past a couple would have sufficed to provide enough bite, or one has to throw in a couple of chiles de arbol or habaneros to get some heat in one's dishes, but then the flavors are affected and it's no longer a jalapeño dish.

I had read a few years ago that plant breeders had been working on developing heatless jalapeño varieties, and that these were produced for the commercial food processors. Also, mild jalapeño seeds were made available to the general public through seed catalogs. Apparently, these varieties have either crossbred with regular jalapeño plants, and or have replaced them all together by growers in the US.

I found this article from back in 2000 from the LA Times, and it mentions some of the mild varieties that had been developed like New Mexico State University at Las Cruces' Nu-Mex Primavera and Texas A&M's TAM-1.

From the article:
Quote:
"There are a lot of people who can't eat anything but mild salsa," Waltrip says. "You'll be able to put this in mild salsas and have sissies be able to eat it."

Chile breeder Bosland says he will mail Nu-Mex Primavera seeds to whomever requests them.

"I've got a lot of mail from folks who said I've sold my soul to the devil. My desk was also piled high with people wanting a seed sample," Bosland says.

"A lot of people are terrified to even attempt jalapeno dishes because they don't want to get burned out. Now they can try them."

Whether heatless jalapenos will catch on at Mexican and Southwestern restaurants is questionable. There can be a stigma attached, says Chile Pepper magazine editor Robb Walsh.

"I remember a [Mexican] restaurant in New York where I ate a bunch of them," Walsh says. "I said, 'These must be TAM jalapenos.'

"They disavowed any knowledge because they were trying to say they were serving jalapenos and they didn't want it out that their jalapenos were actually heatless."
  • Topic Stats
  • Top Replies
  • Link to this Topic
Type: Discussion • Score: 4 • Views: 2,083 • Replies: 9
No top replies

 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 Jan, 2012 03:07 pm
I eat habaneros daily. I only have a jalapeno when I eat at Mexican places. You are right. None of the jalapenos are hot these days.
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 Jan, 2012 04:06 pm
@InfraBlue,
I'm wondering if this is just the USian palate become more accustomed to heat.

Personally, I add serrano peppers if I need heat. (Habeneros are hard to use; I'm reminded of that commercial "a little more... a little more... too much!")
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 Jan, 2012 04:32 pm
@DrewDad,
Theyeve also produced a "low scofield habenero". These are all available from the TOMATO GROWERS CATALOG 2012 .

I grow several kinds of peppers , from habeneros to the little "poppers" for canning and pickling.

HAbeneros are way too hot for just mixing whole with foods, but if you just scoop out the skins n seeds and chop or mill the meat , it imparts a really nice peppery sweet spicey taste. (be best to wear gloves for this task)

I like the tabasco peppers most because theyve been developed for a rich flavor besides the heat

SANDIA peppers are the big versions of Serranos that are used a lot in NM for just steaming and putting on top of pork or chicken enchilada tostas with a fried egg on top of that.
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 Jan, 2012 03:50 pm
@InfraBlue,
Ok so that explains why I have had to experiment with different "hot" peppers. When I use fresh jalapenos it doesn't seem to give enough heat for my dishes.
0 Replies
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 Jan, 2012 03:54 pm
@edgarblythe,
edgarblythe wrote:

I eat habaneros daily. I only have a jalapeno when I eat at Mexican places. You are right. None of the jalapenos are hot these days.


The fresh ones we get at our farmer's market are hot! hot! hot!!! And vibrant green, an amazing color really.

I mean, they are hot. And I love hot food.

Store-bought ones, or jarred ones, meh. They have no heat at all. Just a little vinegar flavor.

Cycloptichorn
InfraBlue
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 Jan, 2012 04:30 pm
@DrewDad,
Yeah, I forgot to mention serranos to add more heat to jalapeño dishes.

They're also very good pickled.
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 Jan, 2012 04:33 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
unfortunately I don't see these at too many farmers markets in my area..
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 Jan, 2012 04:38 pm
@Linkat,
Linkat wrote:

unfortunately I don't see these at too many farmers markets in my area..


Well, they are seasonal for sure. We get 'em fresh for about 3 months out of the year.

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
InfraBlue
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 Jan, 2012 04:39 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
I remember a time when store bought jalapeño chiles used to be very hot. They were some of the hottest varieties around.

I remember decades ago some jalapeños that my mom had grown in the garden. All it took was one to heat up a dish of chile verde.

Now they're almost as mild as bell peppers.

Well, I exaggerate. . .
0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

 
  1. Forums
  2. » The heatless jalapeño and the bland American palate
Copyright © 2019 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.03 seconds on 05/21/2019 at 09:01:21