The jalapeño chile pepper is arguably the most famous chili pepper in the world! The jalapeño (Castilian Spanish pronunciation: [xalaˈpeɲo], Mexican Spanish pronunciation: [halaˈpeɲo]) is a medium to large size chile which is prized for its warm, burning sensation when eaten. When ripe, the jalapeño can be 2–3½ inches (5–9 cm) long and is almost always sold while still green. It is a variety of the species Capsicum annuum originating in Mexico. It is named after the town of Xalapa, Veracruz, where it was traditionally produced. More than 160 square kilometers are dedicated for the cultivation of jalapeños in Mexico alone, primarily in the states of Veracruz and Chihuahua. Jalapeños are also cultivated on a smaller scale in Jalisco, Nayarit, Sonora, Sinaloa and Chiapas. The jalapeño is known by different names throughout Old Mexico, such as cuaresmeños, huachinangos, and chiles gordos, just to name a few.
By the year 2000 , more than 5,500 acres in the United States were dedicated to the cultivation of jalapeños. While most jalapenos were produced in southern New Mexico and western Texas, Arizona has become a major supplier of jalapeños, as well.
Jalapeños are considered a pod type of Capsicum. The growing period for a jalapeño plant is approximately 70–80 days. When mature, the plant stands 2.5 to 3 feet tall. Typically, a single plant will produce 25-35 pods. New genetics in Arizona are producing more. During the growing period, a plant will be picked multiple times. As the growing season comes to an end, the jalapeños start to turn red. The fresh market consists of green jalapeños, and red jalapeños are considered inferior. Growers often either discard the red jalapeños into the ground or use them for production of chipotle peppers.
Jalapeño Chile Peppers typically range from 3,500 to 8,000 on the Scoville heat scale.