Some like it HOT The Heat

The South Devon Chilli Farm gives us the lowdown on chilies and how to combat the heat when using them in your kitchen...

USING CHILLIES Apart from the heat of chillies, the T

he heat in chillies comes from chemicals called Capsinoids (primarily Capsaicin) of which there are diff erent types, which is why heat from diff erent

chillies is felt in diff erent parts of the mouth. Contrary to popular belief, the capsaicin is not contained in the seeds, but in the placenta, which is the fl eshy strip inside the fruit to which the seeds are attached. The cells which contain the capsaicin have a

high internal pressure so that when the chilli is broken or sliced open they burst, spraying the chemical over the inside of the pod.

wide range of chillies we grow are very diff erent in fl avour. The same chilli even has a diff erent fl avour when fresh to when it is dried; for example a fresh Aji Limon chilli tastes lemony but a dried Aji Limon tastes of banana! Chillies have a range of uses depending on their size, colour, fl eshiness and fl avour. Thinner

skinned chillies are easier to dry; thicker fl eshed chillies are good for stuffi ng and baking; small chillies are good to use whole; long chillies are easy to chop.


The fl avours that chillies develop when dried is always surprising us!

THE SCOVILLE SCALE Heat is traditionally measured in

Scoville Heat Units (SHU), devised by Mr Wilbur Scoville. The principle was that a whole chilli was blended into sugar water and then diluted until it was no longer detectable by taste. This is a bit of a hit and miss process, so nowadays "Scoville Tests" are done using liquid chromatography and translated back into Scoville Heat Units.

HOW TO COMBAT THE BURN The best antidote to heat is either

patience, or a dairy product such as milk or yoghurt. Try to hold the yoghurt in your mouth for as long as possible before swallowing. Sugar also seems to reduce the heat sensation a little. Drinking water or beer does not help as they wash the heat further into your taste buds.

When tasting a fresh chilli, it is diffi cult to predict the amazing fl avours that develop during the drying process! We recommend storing dried chillies whole, rather than grinding them to

powder of fl akes - powder can quickly lose the wonderful aromas and fl avours so it is best to grind them to powder as you need it.

Tried & Tested

Fussels Chilli Oil has a real zing that adds something extra to a plate of food. You can drizzle it over dishes or cook with it to give added warmth to dishes.

Cherry Bomb Sauce by South Devon Chilli Farm is a super versatile, medium heat sauce.


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