Q. How many different types of chili pepper are out there and how can I tell which one are hot and which are mild?
A. There are over 100 varieties of chili peppers in Mexico alone, each with its own distinct flavor. In general, the smaller the chili, the hotter the taste -- although this is not a guarantee.
Here are a few of the most common types of chili peppers:
- Anaheim peppers: light green, 4 to 6 in. long and 11/2 in. wide, mild with a slight bite
- Jalapeño peppers: small and dark green, 2 to 3 in. long and 3/4 in. wide, hot to very hot
- Poblano peppers: very dark green, large and triangular-shaped, 31/2 to 5 in. long, mild to quite hot
- Serrano peppers: very small, medium-green or red, very hot