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Aug 21, 2017

Some like it hot, and those who do are already familiar with the most well-known chili pepper in the world. Even if you are not partial to spicy stuff, we can all appreciate the fact that the jalapeño was the first pepper to go into space.

Availability & Origin 
These peppers are available year-round. Mexico is the world's largest producer, but the peppers are also grown commercially in California, New Mexico, and Texas, which named the jalapeño its state pepper.

Appearance & Flavor
When they are immature, their skin can vary from light to dark green and when they are ripe, they turn red. Spice increases as the pepper matures, so green peppers are milder than red ones. When choosing jalapeños, look for smooth skin that is not shriveled. The ones that have stretch marks are said to be even hotter.

Jalapeño storage is simple. Wrap them unwashed in paper towels, place them inside a plastic bag, and keep them in the fridge. They'll last a few days.

Ways to Enjoy 
Eat them fresh, cooked, pickled, or in salsas, sauces, soups, and breads. They make a great topping for foods from hot dogs to pizza. Try out this sandwich, which can certainly rival the classic grilled cheese.

Jalapeño is Spanish for "from Xalapa," a.k.a. the capital city of Veracruz, Mexico where the pepper was originally cultivated. They began to gain popularity in the U.S. in the 1980s, and are still loved by millions to this day.

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