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7 October 2013

Scoville Heat Units: 75,000 SHU

Also known as Japanese chile. Originating in Japan, these chiles come from small plants (the name refers to a dwarf tree) and grow upward in clusters around yellow flowers. It is grown as a short-lived perennial, meaning it comes back each year, but only for 2-3 years. Mature peppers are often dried before use.

The Yatsafusa peppers mature to a deep red at about 3 inches, but can be picked before maturity, when they are green, for a slightly different and milder flavor. It is said that the best flavor comes from mixing the young green peppers with the mature red ones in dishes. The chile is of course popular in many Japanese dishes such as soups and stir-fries, as well as other Asian cuisine. They are also used in hot sauces and as a rub for smoked meat.

These peppers are relatively mild compared to the eye-watering habanero, but they are still hot, similar to the cayenne, and they have good flavor, rather than just simply adding heat to a dish.

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