Some like it hot - hot peppers are the spice of life! The heat you feel from eating a hot pepper is determined by the amount of capsaicin present. Although eating hot peppers can be a painful experience to some, capsaicin actually produces endorphins, which may account for the good feelings experienced by others after consumption!
A pepper’s heat is measured in Scoville Units. Developed by Wilbur Scoville in 1912, Scoville Units measure chili pepper heat in multiples of 100, with the bell peppers and sweet Italian peppers at 0, jalapeño peppers at 5,000, cayenne peppers at 50,000, and habanero peppers at 300,000 Scoville Units. Here's how some of your favorite peppers land in Scoville units:
Poblano: Mexico, California, 1000 units
Jalapeno: From Mexico, Southwest U.S., 5,000 units
Serrano: Southwest U.S., 10,000 to 20,000 units
Thai: Southeast Asia, 50,000 to 100,000 units
Habanero: Yucatan, Caribbean, 100,000 to 300,000 units