This Simple Trick Will Tell You How Hot A Jalapeno Is

Jalapeño peppers are one of the most well-known strains of the capsicum annum species and can be found in anything from a salsa you use to top your tacos with to appetizer versions of it where they are stuffed with cheese (via MasterClass). Jalapeños are considered one of the world's most popular peppers and come in at the 18th spot on the spiciness scale, as they clock in as high as 10,000 Scoville Heat Units (via MasterClass and Taste Atlas). 

Despite their spiciness, there is a simple trick that can be used to find jalapeños that are slightly lower on the Scoville Scale and more palatable for those that love eating them but don't wish to set their mouths on fire. This hack for deciphering the spice level of jalapeños will (safely) help you determine which pepper to pick when you're at the supermarket, farmer's market, or happen to go picking peppers somewhere.

What do you need to look for?

When shopping for jalapeños, look for little white streaks (aka little jalapeño "stretch marks") on the green flesh, according to Simply Recipes. What do these little flecks on the skin mean? These little lines, that run down along the body of the jalapeño, are a signifier of the maturity of the pepper and the stress the pepper has been under. As the jalapeño pepper matures (aka grows), it will develop those lines due to different stressors within its environment like dry soil. 

Following this theory, the older and bigger the jalapeño, the more flecks it might have signaling a higher level of spice. But, this isn't the only spice marker you should be looking for because despite having this visual cue, not all green jalapeños mature at the same time. Simply Recipes explains that cutting off the tip of the pepper is the best way to figure out just how spicy a jalapeño is, as its heat is concentrated on the seeds and the membranes on the inside.