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wildpotato's avatar

Can poblano peppers be randomly spicy?

Asked by wildpotato (15096points) August 22nd, 2014

My fantastic fiance made us chile rellenos last night, and I encountered three bites in two different peppers that were really, really spicy. The rest of both peppers tasted totally normal. My fiance sampled the same two peppers and felt no bite. He put nothing spicy in there – just cheese, corn, rice, and then the tomato sauce on top. I’ve had the dish many times in the past as well as poblanos in other dishes, and they’ve always tasted earthy and slightly sweet, never spicy. They’re low on the Scoville scale, just above anchos and sweet reds. I can eat jalapenos no problem, and they’re way higher on the scale than poblanos – but those three bites were way hotter than any jalapeno I’ve ever tasted.

Has anyone experienced this with poblanos? What the heck was going on with those peppers?

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3 Answers

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Growing conditions would affect the spiciness of the peppers. I’m guessing hot dry and sunny would produce more heat than cooler, wetter, and less sunny.

thorninmud's avatar

The distribution of capsaicin (the hot stuff) in chilies is uneven. In the actual flesh of the pod, concentrations get higher closer to the tip. But the greatest concentrations are in the spongy white structures within the pod where seeds are attached (the placenta). Chances are, Mr. Fantastic removed the big knob of seeds and placenta up under the stem cap, but the placenta also runs down the down the ribs on the inside of the pod, and those probably stayed in. These actually contain the capsaicin glands.

rojo's avatar

@thorninmud My experience has been just the opposite, that is, the closer you get to the stem, the spicier it gets. This may have to do with the seeds and placenta. It is easier to clean out the main body but at the top it takes more work so most restaurants don’t put forth the effort.

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