Although they’ve been replaced several times over as chilies have been bred for increasing heat, habaneros used to be considered the hottest in the world. In addition to a blistering heat, these beautiful, bell-shaped peppers have a delicious fruity sweetness, which pairs wonderfully with fruits and meats. Add habanero to traditional, pineapple, or mango salsa for a hot tropical treat, or use sparingly to heat up bbq sauces or meat rubs.
These whole peppers can be crushed or pureed for adding to salsas or sauces, or used whole in marinades and soups (don’t forget to remove the pepper before serving!). To make a spicy puree, cover peppers with hot water and soak for 15-20 minutes before pureeing in a blender or food processor. When crushing or pureeing habaneros, make sure your work area is well ventilated.