Love the taste of chilis but can’t stand it when your tongue and throat flair up to the point where you need to down an entire glass of milk just to get some relief? We hear you. Although we love the idea of spicy food, it just doesn’t sit well with our hiccuping tummies whenever we have it.
That’s why we’re more than jazzed about this new heatless habanero that has all of the traditional habenero pepper flavour without any of the mouth-burning heat.
These “habanadas” have been around for a while – plant breeder Michael Mazourek made his first edible version of a cross-pollinated heatless pepper and habanero ready for consumption in 2007. The plant didn’t really gain popularity until 2014 though, when it became a part of the Culinary Breeding Network Variety Showcase. Following that, chefs like Dan Barber from the New York eatery Blue Hill began buying them from a food distributor, and served them up dressed with a little salt and pepper. Expectant guests waited for the burn, but when it didn’t come, they began to reconsider what a habanero should actually taste like (hint: it’s got a melon-like flavour).
Well, now it looks as though we too can experience these heatless peppers, if we’re willing to grow them at home.
Pepper Profile: Habanada #9670 (20 seeds) – This new heatless habanero has all the exotic, floral flavor of the habanero pepper with absolutely none of the heat. Hence, the clever name: haba (for habanero) nada (Spanish for nothing). Expect abundant harvests of these 2 to 3 inch long peppers when the plants have heat, full sun, even watering, and not too much nitrogen. Harvest peppers when bright orange for their best flavor. Bred by Dr. Michael Mazourek of Cornell University. 70 days green; 90 days orange. #habanada #habanero #pepper #seeds #tomatogrowerssupply #tomatogrowers #food #farmtotable #growyourownfood #seedtotable #local
According to the site, these habanadas (a play on the Spanish word for nothing, “nada”), grow two to three inches long when they’re placed in a warm location with lots of sun and are evenly watered. They take about 70 days to grow nice and green; 90 until they get their bright orange hue and are truly ready to eat. You can buy your own seeds here.
We can just imagine the glorious taco nights, empanada bowl lunches and re-imagined nachos now. Between these and using fat-free Greek yogurt instead of sour cream, Mexican food has really gotten some cool upgrades lately.
Finally, a pepper we can all enjoy without needing to scrub our mouths out afterwards.