We’ve never grown chilies before, and we’ve undertaken growing three Scotch Bonnet plants in our conservatory this year. My wife has taken on the challenge and she’s done a superb job so far. All three plants are healthy and thriving, and we’ve got our first blossoms.
We don’t typically eat super spicy food, but we enjoy a bit of heat in our homemade stir fries, arabiatta, bean con carne, salsa or pizza.
We are fully aware that this variety is extremely fierce with a Scoville Heat Unit (SHU) rating of 350,000-400,000, but we don’t intend to eat these culinary nuclear bombs raw or in sweat inducing quantities. We’re going to dry them and add the chillies as ‘flakes’ to liven up certain meals.
I also intend to make our own hot sauce that will deliver a bright, fiery, floral flavour, and I will probably go down the path of a simple Haitian style recipe that I’ll share when I make it later this summer.
Onto the plant and chili itself. From what we understand, Scotch Bonnet is a short, bushy plant that produces a good crop of globular red spicy fruit, with a thin waxy flesh.
Nutritionally, dried Scotch Bonnet chillies pack an incredible punch too as they contain iron, thiamine, niacin, magnesium, riboflavin and vitamins A, B and C. Chillies are also abundant in phytochemicals (capcaicin and flavenoids) making them a superb source of antioxidants.
I’m genuinely excited about harvesting the first of our chillies in the coming weeks and months.