Species Name: Capsicum frutescens Linne

Color: Pale yellow-green maturing to yellow then orange and then red

Average Size: 1 - 1 1/2" long, 1/4 - 3/4" diameter

Shape: Long cylinders, pointed

Description: Thin-fleshed with sharp, biting heat. This pepper is not usually used fresh or dried, only as a mash in sauces.

Scoville Heat Units: 30,000 - 50,000

Substitute if Not Available: Chiltepin, Cascabella, Louisiana Sport, Mississippi Sport, Thai, Chilpequin

Other Names: None!

Related Cultivars: Greenleaf Tabasco, Louisiana Sport, Mississippi Sport

Most Commonly Grown In: Louisiana, Mexico, Central and South America

Interesting Facts: The tabasco pepper was being cultivated near Tabasco, Mexico in the early 1840's and was transferred to Louisiana in 1848. It was a little after this that the famed McIlhenny family started growing these peppers on Avery Island, after discovering a few tabasco plants were all that had survived the Civil War. They developed their signature fermented pepper sauce, named it 'TABASCO', and the rest is history. They had the great foresight to trademark the name which was then heatedly disputed by other growers who also wanted to use the name of the pepper in the name of their sauces. There are many other sauces made from tabasco peppers but, to this day, none can use the word 'tabasco' in the name of the product. Today, to keep up with the demand the peppers are grown commercially in Central America and Columbia and then shipped as mash to Louisiana. Tabasco peppers are not grown commercially on a large scale because the small chiles are so difficult to pick. The Greenleaf Tabasco pepper was bred at Auburn University for resistance to the tabacco etch disease.

Most Common Uses: Sauces