Habanero pepper ready for tasting

This little habanero pepper had taken a pretty good beating this Summer. From worms that methodically destroyed early peppers back in July to a solid trimming and isolation from the rest of the plants. Finally, the resilient plant produced a solid handful of ripe orange peppers last week. The habanero is one of my favorite peppers to eat fresh and even provides a good amount of flavor once dried — I was a bit more than excited when I finally had some ready for both.

But first, we needed to make sure these pods were worthy. And the only way to do that is to cut one open and greedily pile-drive that thing into my mouth hole.

Habanero pepper ready for tasting

The pepper doesn’t have an incredible thick skin, but certainly thicker than the ghost and reapers that I sampled from earlier. The pepper crunches nicely as the knife goes to work. There’s a good amount of placenta and not too many seeds as shiny oil coats the inner walls for the fruit. The aroma is classic habanero — lightly sweet, fruity and mouth-watering. So far so good.

Habanero pepper ready for tasting

Juicy citrus explodes across the tongue with each bite. The pepper’s skin provides a decent bit of resistance and a satisfying crunch. There’s a nice bit of sweetness as the warmth builds smoothly to a moderate heat — it’s not the hottest habanero I’ve ever eaten, but it hit the spot nicely. The heat spreads evenly across the tongue and gently down the back of the throat.

Man, I love these peppers. They are quite versatile and provide just enough warmth to let you know your eggs aren’t just simply scrambled. Since this initial tasting, I’ve eaten one more with chili and dried the remaining pods to add a little flavor to all the reaper and ghost I’ve already taken care of this Summer. I should be toasty warm on the insides for the coming Winter.