The Bird’s eye chili pepper, measuring 50,000-150,000 Scoville units, is not for the faint of heart. (Scoville units are a measure of the relative pungency of a chili pepper against that of pure capsaicin, which scores 16 million Scoville units). The pepper is at the lower half of the Scoville range for the hotter habanero, but still 10-20 times hotter than a common jalapeño. The flavor is citrusy, smoky, and nutty if you can get past their heat. The small round pepper is called Bird’s Eye Chili pepper because they have been spread by birds, which are not affected by the heat of the peppers. sometimes called peri peri pepper, Thai pepper, or Thai dragon.
History of the Bird’s Eye Pepper
The Bird’s eye pepper is commonly found in Ethiopia and Southeast Asia. The peppers were spread by Spanish and Portuguese colonists, missionaries, and traders.
The Bird’s Eye Pepper in Food Trend Preparation
Raw, dried, or cooked, these small, potent peppers are used to add spice to dishes or to make fiery sauces. Bird’s eye chilis are used extensively in Thai, Vietnamese, Malaysian, and Indonesian cuisines. Today, with our global search for more ethnic flavors, and love of heat and spice food trends, the pepper has become a well-known ingredient in food preparation. Fresh or dried they can be added to salads, stir-fries, curries, sauces, sambals, soups, marinades, and in condiments. In Thai cuisine, green peppers are used to make green curries. The hotter, mature red peppers are used in red curries. The bird’s eye pepper has become well-know and a favorite for spicing up fish and
seafood, which are staples in many areas around the globe. Use them to create your own hot sauce, chili, and salsas. Americans have discovered peri peri chicken, an up-and-coming spicy chicken dish. Quite common in the rest of the world, its’ roots are in the African and Portuguese culture. Peri peri chicken is a delicious example of the combination of global cultures with hot peppers, lemon, and garlic creating a sweet, citrusy, sour, and spicy combination.
Medicinally, the pepper offers some pain -relieving benefits too. It relieves pain associated with toothaches as well as arthritis. Even though it’s hot, it is also good for the digestive system, especially the stomach as it relieves gas. It’s also been proven to lower blood pressure, decrease “bad” cholesterol in the blood, and reduce the size of the plaque deposits already lining your arteries.