Jalapenos not hot anymore

I’ve been using jalapenos in lots of cooking - Mexican, Asian, etc… I’ve found that the jalapenos I have been buying at traditional markets like Stater Bros, Ralphs and Whole Foods are not very hot. Recently I’ve moved to using serrano peppers. I haven’t tried the Mexican markets.

Anybody else having the same issue?

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They havent been hot for decades :frowning: Check out this article from 1983. I don’t think mexican markets are much better. look for jalapenos with cardboard colored stripes if you want spicier, thats what I do. Maybe someone else has a more reliable source.

A while ago, a Texas university developed a mild strain.

Interesting. The serrano peppers I used this weekend for guacamole were very tame as well. My 4 year old who does not take to spicy foods well was eating the guacamole with no complaints. I might need to move onto habanero peppers.

I would agree. @Dommy & I just came back from the Yucatan visiting relatives. The Habanero salsas which were on every table blew away anything I have had in the states in the last few years (10 maybe?)

the problem is the flavor of all these peppers is different. It’d nice to have Jalapenos that were ‘Mexican’ hot lol. I do love me some habanero salsa though

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I noticed that years ago. There are spicy ones around but places that have them may randomly get the hybrid instead. The ones I get at the farmers market are spicy but that’s less than half the year.

I use Serranos to be sure of the spice level.

Try this:

I’ve tried a few vendors at Irvine farmers market too recently and no luck. I guess we’re using serranos from now on (maybe habanero) but agree that this will change the flavor especially in something like guacamole where you’re only using like 6 ingredients.

Nothing new about that. These numbers are debatable, but the ranking is solid:

Habanero, Scotch Bonnet:100,000-350,000 Scoville units
Thai: 100,000-250,000
Serrano: 10,000-30,000
Jalapeño: 3,500-10,000
Tam Mild Jalapeño: 1,250-2000
Anaheim, New Mexico: 800-1,400
Señorita Jalapeño, False Alarm Jalapeño: 250-500

A single Habanero or Scotch Bonnet can make a big pot of food too spicy for many people.

I know. I live in Texas and it’s pathetic how wimpy pickled jalapenos have become. I don’t even want to buy them. If I wanted a pickle I’d buy one, I bought jalapenos for a reason. I remember hearing talk of them wanting to develop a mild jalapeno years ago. We all got a good laugh out of it, now I want to cry! It must have caught on with sissies, whiners and pansies of every variety!


When I want heat I generally use serranos.

True. Although i do agree it’s annoying that it’s so difficult to find hot jalapeños anymore because the flavor really is different than a Serrano


Yes, Serrano’s are pretty good. I don’t eat enough of them!

I’ve been dealing with wimpy jalapeño chilies for many years. Recently I finally brought a few home that were decently hot for salsa, but not the heat I really want.

A couple of days ago, I bought Serano chilies, as more often I can trust them to have good heat. I grabbed a couple to eat with my sandwich; the heat level on the first one was very tame, especially for Serranos. The second one I chomped had just a little bit of warmth, then finally the last half inch by the stem had more heat.

Has anybody heard anything more about why the heat level in Chili’s has declined so badly? I too have tried different sources and still run into the same problem, even at the local Mexican market. I wonder if chilies are being picked too soon? Also, I recently noticed that when I left jalapeños lying around until they turned orange, they developed more heat.

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They just are bred for less heat it’s pretty sad. When I want hot ones i tend to pick out the jalapeños with corking. Seem to be hotter in my experience

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Just bought a serrano at Northgate Market for the guacamole to accompany Taco Tuesday. Looked for the zebra stripes and some other suggestions from above. Might as well have bought a bell pepper. I really think I need to just buy habanero at this point.


Habaneros have such a different flavor though. And I’ve encountered low-heat versions of those, too.

My jalapeños and serranos are nice and hot whenever I buy them at Vallarta or at Food 4 Less.