The chocolate habanero is one of my absolute favorite peppers. If you love hot and tasty chillies, this is definitely one you should try.
There are many varieties of chocolate habaneros. For example:
- Black Congo
- Senegal Hot Chocolate
- Dark Habanero
- Cuban Habanero
- Black Habanero
The chocolate habanero originates in the Caribbean. It has various features that differentiate it from the typical orange variety.
Capsaicin and Scoville Scale 101
Here’s a brief intro just in case you’re not familiar with these terms.
The “capsaicin” is the source of heat in any type of pepper. Likewise, the “Scoville Scale” measures the pungency of the chile variety.
As a result, the amount of capsaicin in the pepper is related to its Scoville heat unit (SHU) rating.
Chocolate Habanero Scoville
The chocolate habanero can have a scoville rating of 425,000 SHU to 577,000 SHU.
Differences In Heat from Regular Habanero
It can be hard to grasp the heat based on a number. For comparison:
- The orange habanero rates between 150,000 SHU to 325,000 SHU
That is to say that chocolate habaneros can be double the heat of the orange habanero.
For another comparison, the jalapeno is around 2,500 SHU to 5,000 SHU. That’s a lot more than double the heat!
Chocolate Habanero Taste
I grow these peppers quite often. One of the reasons I love them so much is flavor. They have a distinct earthy and somewhat smoky taste.
Similarly, they also have that slight fruity flavor you may recognize from orange habaneros. The difference, to me, is that the fruitiness comes after a bit of chewing.
These peppers are intense are far as heat goes. If you’re not used to spicy, I recommend tasting a small portion of the pepper at first (make sure there’s no veins or seeds).
Chocolate habaneros are typically used to make Jamaican jerk sauce.
They are also a delicious addition to mole, stew, salsa and other dishes were you want that smoky, earthy taste. Personally, I love topping my pizza with them.
How To Cut Habanero Peppers
Here’s a common way to cut your habaneros into bite-size pieces. However, when you’re working with this level of heat, you’ll want to take certain precautions first.
When preparing hot chillies, be sure to wear vinyl or latex gloves and even eyewear.
To clarify, the chile has capsaicin oils that will burn your hands. Even worse, you may rub your eye before you remember to neutralize the burn. Ouch!
Likewise, these chillies can actually squirt capsaicin when you cut into them. I cut into a chocolate habanero one day and got hit directly in the eye.
Additionally, be aware that the capsaicin oils will leach into your cutting board. You can try neutralizing the heat with soap and hot water, but sometimes it’s easier to have a board specifically for hot peppers.
- Put your gloves and eyewear on.
- Pull the pepper stem off.
- Cut the chocolate habanero down the middle lengthwise.
- Remove the seeds with a knife.
- Cut the pepper into long, thin strips.
- Cut those strips into smaller pieces.
Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, which means I earn a small commission if you make a purchase using my link. This is at no additional cost to you. I personally use these resources and I’m recommending them to make this guide more helpful to you.
Chocolate Habanero Growing Tips
If you’d like help growing out chocolate habaneros or any other kinds of peppers, be sure to check out The Pepper Seed-Starting Guide. This step-by-step guide walks you through all the steps, from starting seeds indoors to growing healthy plants that are ready for the outdoors.
When you have seeds or plants, you can grow them in containers. I grew all of my chocolate habaneros in 5-gallon buckets that I got from the hardware store.
Likewise, you can also use grow bags. I like at least a 7-gallon size because it gives your chocolate habaneros much more room to grow.
Pepper plants need at least 8 hours of direct sun and regular fertilization to keep them going through the season.
All of the how-to steps for growing habaneros in containers are found on this page:
The chocolate habanero plant is a prolific producer. I always seem to get a lot more of a harvest from this variety.
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