Capsicum chinense Jacq.
Scoville scale: (100,000-350,000)
Common Names: Boabs Bonnet, Scotty Bons, Bonney peppers, or Caribbean red peppers, Ball of Fire
This is a cultivar of the aromatic hot pepper, Capsicum chinense. found mainly in the Caribbean islands, and also in Guyana (where it is called Ball of Fire) including Maldives Islands and West Africa. ‘Scotch bonnet’ refers to the shape of the peppers, which resembles a Tam o’ Shanter hat. Fresh, ripe scotch bonnets change from green to yellow to scarlet red.
They mostly have a heat rating of 100,000–350,000 Scoville units, but there are, however, completely sweet varieties, called Cachucha peppers.
This pepper is used for its unique flavour and aroma, in many different dishes and cuisines worldwide, and is key to jerk dishes and other Caribbean dishes’ unique flavour.
It’s also used to make hot sauces and condiments.
Scotch Bonnets are popular in West African, Antiguan, Kittitian, Anguilan, Dominican, St. Lucian and St Vincentian, Grenadian, Trinidadian, Jamaican, Barbadian, Guyanese, Surinamese, Haitian and Cayman cuisine.
What is the Scoville Scale?
The amount of heat in hot pepper is measured by the Scoville scale, which measures the pungency (spicy heat) of chilli peppers, recorded in Scoville heat units. The units range from 0 (Bell pepper); 100-900 (Paprika, Pimento); 3,500-10,000 (Chipotle, Jalapeño); 30,000-50,000 (Cayenne, Tabasco), 100,000-350,000 (Habanero, Scotch bonnet) to 2,000,200 (Carolina Reaper).