Chiles are a group of peppers that includes jalapeño chiles, habanero chiles, poblano chiles, New Mexican chiles, Thai bird chiles, and many more. All of these peppers contain a compound called capsaicin (“cap-SAY-sin”) that makes us feel hotter than we actually are—that’s why your mouth feels like it’s “on fire” when you eat something spicy, even if what you’re eating is cold. Different varieties of chiles contain different amounts of capsaicin. For example, a habanero chile has much more capsaicin than a jalapeño chile, so it’s hotter!
Have you heard about our Young Chefs’ Club? Members get a themed (and kid-tested) box delivered each month!
When prepping chiles, it’s a good idea to wear disposable gloves so that the capsaicin doesn’t get on your skin. Do not touch your eyes or your face while working with chiles, even if you have gloves on!