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Scotch Bonnet Chili

What are Scotch Bonnet Peppers?


What are Hot Peppers

Scotch Bonnet Pepper

Photo by Cynthia Nelson

In the Caribbean, the Scotch Bonnet pepper is the pepper of choice; it is the most widely used hot pepper in Caribbean cuisine. Other hot peppers such as cherry peppers (a.k.a. wiri wiri), bird peppers, habanero and pimento peppers are also readily available and used in various applications. These days, the Indian Chili peppers can also be found in markets and supermarkets. However, when someone talks about hot peppers in the Caribbean, particularly the English-speaking Caribbean, they are strictly referring to the Scotch Bonnet pepper. When shopping for peppers, you will see them labeled as "hot pepper" or "big pepper".


Scotch Bonnet peppers are used to make the famous West Indian Pepper Sauces. Pepper Sauce is used as a condiment and also to season meat, fish and poultry. The Scotch Bonnet is also used whole to impart flavor without the heat. In some preparations, it is simply chopped or minced and added to the food in its early stages of cooking.

Controlling the Heat

To reduce a lot of the heat from any pepper, you must remove the seeds as well as the membrane found inside of the pepper - this is where the heat is stored. The finer pepper is chopped or minced, the more the heat is spread in the dish. Always bear this in mind when cooking with hot peppers.

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