See also: Articles - Chili Peppers - Chiles, Some Like It Hot
CHILES, CHILE PEPPER TRIVIA
Chili, chile or even chilli. Which refers to a pepper variety and which to the stew like dish of seasoned beef? Even dictionaries don't agree - many now say both spellings are correct.
More confusion - is the stew like dish 'chili con carne' or 'chile con carne' or even 'chilli con carne'?
Is there a difference between 'chili powder' and 'chile powder?'
And finally, should the stew-like beef dish contain beans or not?
The answers to these questions depend in large part on where you live (or where you grew up), and can make for lively discussions.
The seeds are NOT the hottest part of peppers. It is at the point where the seed is attached to the white membrane inside the pepper that the highest concentration of capsaicin (the compound giving peppers their pungent flavor) is found.
Capsaicin, the 'hot' constituent in chile peppers, is not water soluble - it is soluble in fat and alcohol. So don't drink water to cool your mouth after eating very hot chilies. Drink milk or beer, or eat some ice cream or guacamole if your mouth is on fire.
The official state vegetables of New Mexico are the chile and Frijoles (pinto beans).
Hatch, New Mexico is known as the "Green Chile capital of the World".
Texas has 2 official state peppers:
- The Jalapeno (Capsicum annuum) was designated as the Official Pepper of Texas in 1995.
- The Chiltepin (Capsicum annuum) was designated as the Official Native Pepper of Texas in 1997.
- Both are used in its official dish, chili.