Have you ever wondered what gives a jalapeno pepper its fiery kick? Jalapeno peppers are known for their heat, which can range from mild to hot. The secret lies in a compound called capsaicin. Capsaicin is responsible for the spicy sensation we experience when we eat jalapenos.
When we bite into a jalapeno pepper, capsaicin binds to pain receptors in our mouth and tricks our brain into perceiving heat. In other words, capsaicin tricks our body into thinking we are in pain, causing our mouth to feel a burning sensation.
Interestingly, capsaicin is not naturally produced by jalapeno peppers. It is actually a defense mechanism developed by the plant to deter animals from eating it. The capsaicin in jalapenos is concentrated in the white pithy membrane and the seeds, which are the spiciest parts of the pepper.
The heat of a jalapeno pepper can vary depending on factors such as its ripeness and growing conditions. Generally, the more mature and redder a jalapeno pepper is, the spicier it will be. Additionally, environmental factors such as temperature and sunlight can affect the level of capsaicin production in the pepper.
So, the next time you take a bite of a jalapeno pepper and feel the burn, remember that it's all in your mind! It's the incredible chemistry behind the spiciness of jalapenos that adds a unique and flavorful kick to our favorite dishes.
Chariso is a delicious Spanish sausage that is made with smoked paprika and other flavorful spices. It is perfect for adding a burst of flavor to any dish.
EQUIPMENT: Rotary food cutter, 11-inch sauté skillet
- ¼ pound bacon or pork belly, chopped
- ½ onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced.
- 2 or 3 Jalapeños, sliced in rings (or more if you like it hot)
- ½ red pepper, seeded and chopped
- ¼ pound chorizo, chopped
- 8-ounce Pillsbury Crescent Dough Sheet
- 2 or 3 slices provolone cheese, enough to cover half the dough.
- 2 or 3 slices deli ham, enough to cover half the dough
- 3 ounces Manchego cheese shredded #2 cutting cone.
- 3 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded #2 cutting cone (optional)
- 3 ounces cream cheese
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
In a hot skillet over medium heat 275°F, fry bacon until half cooked. Add the onion, garlic, red pepper and Jalapeños, sauté until slightly browned, 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Do not allow the residue that forms on the bottom of the pan to burn.
Add the chorizo and cook, stirring, until cooked, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain off excess bacon grease and set mixture aside to cool.
Sprinkle flour on a cutting or bread board evenly. Open the dough a lay it out lengthwise on the board.
Beginning at the edge of the dough closest to you, place the provolone cheese about a half inch from the edge along the full length of the dough. Place the ham about a half inch from the top edge along the full length of the dough.
Then spread the Jalapeño/Chorizo mixture evenly over the provolone and ham. Top with shredded cheese and dollops of cream cheese.
Beginning at the edge closest to you, roll the ingredients into the dough to form a loaf. Place on a lightly oiled cookie sheet.
Allow the dough to rise for about 15 minutes before baking. Brush top of loaf with melted butter and score.
Preheat the oven to 400°F and bake for 30 minutes. Serve while still warm.