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3 October 2013

SCOVILLE HEAT UNITS: 50,000 to 100,000 SHU

Capsicum Annuum

The Chiltepin, or Chiltepine, is a tiny, round or oval shaped, red to orange-red chile, measuring about .8cm in diameter. It has grown in the wild throughout much of Northern Mexico and Southern Texas for generations, and there is much folklore and history involving the plant in the US/Mexico Borderland areas. Efforts to grow the wild plants on farms have led to the development of the Chile Piquin which is grown commercially in Mexico and Texas.

The Chiltepin is very hot, and in Mexico, the heat of the pepper is considered “arrebatado” which means “rapid” or “violent” because the intense heat is not long lasting, unlike many chile peppers that have a slower and more enduring effect.

Texas named the Chiltepin the state’s “official native pepper” in 1997. They are also called “bird peppers” because they are eaten and spread by wild birds.

Chiltepin may be dried and crushed, and used in soups, stews and bean dishes. It has a distinctively smoky flavor. The green fruit can also be used in salsas.


  1. Had 3 Chiltepin plants sprout out of nowhere in my backyard in South-east Queensland, Australia when I was about 6. I’m now 22 and they are still there constantly sprouting fresh peppers for me to pick and eat.

  2. Becky Gammons

    Hi Mike,
    I have chilpetin peppers and would love to make hot sauce or salsa out of them. I looked for a canning recipe so I can keep it longer, but nothing yet. I’ve never made either so I’m lost in the process and need a recipe to follow. Not sure but if can send you some peppers I will.

    Becky from Willis, Texas

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Becky, you can use pretty much any of my hot sauce recipes or salsa recipes with your chiltepin peppers, then refer to this page for canning pickled peppers: How to Pickle Chili Peppers. It details the water bath method, which you can basically use for your hot sauce or salsa. Just be sure to check the overall ph and keep it at 4.0 or below for home storage. I hope this helps.

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