Available fresh and dried, they range from mildly spicy to blazing hot. Remember that the real “heat” comes from the capsaicin in the seeds and spines, so removing them reduces the “fire.” I recommend you wear rubber gloves when removing seeds so the oil, containing capsaicin, doesn’t get on your hands—and then into your eyes when you rub them. It takes several hours, even with washing, to remove this oil. Ancho, chipotles, Serrano, habaneros, poblanos, and jalapeños are the most common varieties used in cooking today.

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