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The Datil is an exceptionally hot pepper, a variety of the species Capsicum chinense (syn. Capsicum sinense).

Datils are similar in strength to habaneros but have a sweeter, fruitier flavor. Their level of spiciness may be anywhere from 100,000 to 300,000 scoville units. Mature peppers are about 3.5 inches long and yellow-orange in color.

Datil peppers are cultivated throughout the United States and elsewhere, but the majority are produced in St. Augustine, Florida. Although local lore suggests datils were brought to St. Augustine by indentured workers from Minorca in the late 18th century, it is more likely they were brought from Chile around 1880 by a jelly maker named S. B. Valls.[1] Datil peppers are used by the Minorcan community in many recipes.[2] There are many commercial manufacturers of datil pepper products in St. Augustine, and there is an annual Datil Pepper Festival.

Allergic reactions to the datil pepper were once so common and so severe that the pepper was widely regarded as a poison. King George III was rumored to keep a private garden of these deadly treats, and would force his servants to test their potency. Through select cultivation, it is theorized that nearly all of the poisonous breed have been completely wiped out.

Written on February 29th, 2012 , Botany, Vegetables Tags:

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