Organic Cayenne Chile Powder
Organic Cayenne Chile Powder (35,000 SHU)
Cayenne Chile Powder, Capsicum annuum or Capsicum frutescens, is more typically referred to as Cayenne Pepper. One of the most popular chiles used in the Western hemisphere, the term "Cayenne" has become ubiquitous and is often used to refer to any ground red pepper. In fact, the American Spice Association doesn't even recognize the Cayenne chile, and refers to the generic term "red pepper" instead. Cayenne pepper is a finely ground powder prepared from the seeds and pods of various types of chiles. Unlike most of the chile peppers that we sell, Cayenne chiles come in a very wide variety of heat ranges -- with the most typical being 30,000 - 35,000 SHU (Scoville Heat units) although 60,000 SHU, 90,000 SHU and 120,000 SHU can also be found.
The heat, and to a lesser extent, the personality of this chile depends on where it is cultivated. If it is grown in a hot, dry environment it will produce a hotter chile than those from cooler, wetter climates that will produce milder chiles.
Cayenne Pepper has a reddish orange color and may be used in any recipe that calls for ground red pepper.
It's called Cayennepfeffer (German), togarashi (Japanese) and pimienta de cayena (Spanish).
They may also be referred to as Ginnie peppers.
The word Cayenne derives from the Tupi Indian word "kian". The Tupi people were one of the most important indigenous peoples in what is modern day Brazil. The various Tupi tribes had settled on the Brazilian coast and were the first Indians to have contact with the Portuguese who arrived in 1500. It was the Portuguese who were transporting large amounts of chiles and other New World spices into Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East long before the Spanish (who only brought these back to Spain, Italy and some parts of Western Europe) started expanding their spice trade opportunities.
The Cayenne chile is indigenous to modern day French Guiana (located on the northeast coast of South America) and was named after either the largest city in the region, Cayenne, or after the Cayenne River.
Cayenne chile plants almost resemble small trees with multiple stems, standing about 3 feet tall and approximately 2 feet wide. Most Cayenne chiles are long and slender, about 10" long x 1" wide. They tend to be irregularly shaped with a wrinkled texture. Mature Cayenne plants produce more than 40 fruit pods. Cayenne peppers are allowed to ripen on the plant to bright red pods, then the harvested pods are sun-dried and sold as both whole pods and ground pepper.
There are numerous cultivars of Cayenne chiles. In the US, these include "Large Thick Red" which is often the type used to make Louisiana-style hot sauces. "NuMex Las Cruces" is a New Mexico State University cultivar and is disease resistant (curly top virus). "NuMex Nematador" is a cultivar that is pest resistant and produces a big pod. Any chile with the nickname "NuMex" designates that it is a chile selectively bred by New Mexico State University. Cherry is a Cayenne cultivar that resembles a giant cherry, and these are much milder than most Cayennes and tend to be used for pickling.
Today, Cayenne chiles are commercially harvested in West Africa, Asia, Mexico and the US (primarily Louisiana and New Mexico).
Red Pepper is used to achieve the signature hot flavor of Cajun, Creole, Indian, Sichuan and Thai cuisine. Cayenne Chiles have long been the chile of choice in most Louisiana style hot sauces (except for the Tabasco brand).
Cayenne pepper can be used as a spice in cooking, or as a condiment at the table, generally with seafood such as crab, crayfish, lobster, fried mussels, oysters, sardines, scallops, shrimp, smoked salmon and trout. It can be used in the dusting flour for fried chicken, fish and vegetables. It's good with fried, grilled, roasted or stewed meats.
It adds piquancy to barbecue sauce, biscuits, casseroles, chili, chutneys, curries, egg dishes (especially omelets and soufflés), ketchup, marinades, rice, salads and smoked foods.
Some of our favorite recipes using Cayenne Pepper are Spicy Pepitas, Roasted Butternut Squash with Cranberries and Apples, Quick and Easy Vegetable Curry and Roasted Sweet Potatoes.
Hot, pungent and biting, although not as potent as some of the hotter chiles.
Cayenne Pepper does not really have a "flavor" like other chiles and is really used primarily to impart heat into a dish.
Our Organic Cayenne Pepper comes in at 35,000-50,000 SHU (Scoville Heat Units).
Serving Size1 tsp
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value*