The Lesser-Known Chile Pepper You Need To Cook With

The old axiom goes that people "eat with their eyes first." As HuffPost explained in 2016, that means colors and presentation can go a long way toward making a meal a better experience. Fortunately, the array of produce available on this planet naturally spans a wide spectrum of colors and shapes, creating a rich visual palate that diners' eyes can feast upon. Among that cornucopia are peppers.

Peppers are more than just a visual asset, however. Many of them add a wonderful element of spice to dishes, ranging from essentially absent in terms of heat like bell peppers to the world's hottest peppers that in too great of a quantity can actually make a dish inedible. Just like with creating a visually-pleasing plate, using peppers to liven up a dish is about balance.

There's one chile pepper you might want to consider that shares a name with a popular candy but don't be deceived, it isn't going to sweeten up any dish you add it to. This pepper does provide the color that the name suggests, though.

Try a lemon drop swap

Lemon drops aren't just a popular Brach's candy. Lemon drop is also the name of a pepper that Serious Eats lists among its "11 chilies you should know" about. Serious Eats quotes Evolutionary Organics grower Kira Kinney as saying that lemon drop chiles provide an astoundingly bright flavor profile, fruity in nature with just enough heat for most people.

If you're curious about exactly where the lemon drop pepper falls in terms of heat, PepperScale clarifies that they register between 15,000 and 30,000 Scoville units. That puts them in a medium-heat range, according to the site. The name is about a lot more than just the bright yellow color that the peppers share with lemons, though.

As Refining Fire Chiles breaks down, these peppers actually have a citrusy flavor. Refining Fire Chiles details how they owe their popularity to Peruvian dishes, wherein they are common ingredients for sauces. That jives with what PepperScale had to say on the same subject, recommending using the peppers in fruit-based salsas and hot sauces. PepperScale adds that the most difficult element might be finding the peppers in stores. Don't fret, though, as Refining Fire Chiles states that growing them yourself can yield plenty.

After you make up your sauce or salsa with the lemon drop peppers you've nursed from mere seedlings, you should check out Jamie Oliver's tip for storing any leftovers. With these chiles, adding both color and heat to your sauce can be "easy peasy, lemon squeezy."