Chillies come in many different shapes, sizes, colours and hotness levels. With around 200 known varieties, there really are loads to choose from! Whether you like a bit of heat or enjoy the full-on, knock-your-socks-off spice, there’ll be the perfect chilli out there for you. Here at Westlands UK, we have selected 12 of the best varieties to grow in our glasshouses here in the Vale of Evesham. Our range of fresh chillies has a range of spice levels, colours, shapes and sizes.
The Scoville Scale
The official heat scale for chillies is known as The Scoville Scale, which was developed by Wilbur Scoville in 1912. This scale rates the spice level of each chilli, starting at 0 (i.e. sweet peppers) all the way up to 300,000+ for seriously hot chillies such as Scotch Bonnets!
Generally speaking, the smaller the chilli, the spicier it is!
How to use Fresh Chillies
Our fresh chillies are grown using our unique mix of nutrients to get the very best out of the plant and its fruits. We use a rock wool substrate instead of soil, which is a lightweight hydroponic substrate, made from spinning molten basaltic rock into fine fibres. A lot of thought goes into growing our delicious chillies. Growing in our glasshouses means we are unaffected by the British weather, meaning we produce consistently high-quality produce.
When it comes to using our fresh chillies, the possibilities are endless! You could use the thicker-fleshed chillies for stuffing and baking, while those with thinner walls are perfect for BBQing! When dried, chillies hold on to their characteristic flavours while developing a sweeter flavour.
Try stuffing medium-heat chillies with cheese and roasting them in the oven, or eat mild varieties whole after pan-frying in a bit of olive oil and salt. Finely chop the hotter chillies and add to a recipe to turn up the heat. If you don’t want to overpower the dish, cut a slit in the centre of the chilli and add it to your ingredients, removing it when the heat level is to your liking. We also love adding hotter chillies to fresh salsas and dips – the perfect accompaniment to a summer BBQ.
They’re not just great for savoury dishes; chillies can also be used in sweet recipes too! A little kick of chilli with dark chocolate cuts through the richness and adds an interesting layer of heat.
Our Varieties of Fresh Chillies and Peppers
Our chillies are available to buy online from August to September and come in a 1kg mixed box, including up to 12 varieties. At £15 per box, you get a whole range of different types to experiment with!
‘Ají Limon’ – Scoville Scale: 15,000 – 30,000
Our Ají Limon Chilli is clean and sharp-tasting with a lemon twist. It’s an absolute MUST for chilli vodka makers (and drinkers)!
‘Ancho’ – Scoville Scale: 1,000 – 2,000
Our Ancho chillies are perfect for drying, smoking or for the Mexican dish Chilli Rellenos. Often mistakenly known as the Poblano Chilli, the Ancho is sweet and chocolatey, with rich fruity notes.
‘Bulgarian Carrot’ – Scoville Scale: 5,000 – 30,000
The Bulgarian Carrot is a medium-hot chilli. Its bright orange fruits have a very thick flesh and a delicious heat.
‘Cayenne Purple’ – Scoville Scale: 30,000 – 50,000
Spicing things up with the Cayenne Purple Hot Chilli Pepper! A twist on the classic cayenne chilli, this variety is very ornamental and great for adding a kick to a dish.
‘Cayenne Sweet’ – Scoville Scale: 0
From one extreme to the other! The thin-skinned Cayenne Sweet Chilli has no heat at all. Enjoy the deliciously sweet curly red fruits in a salad or stir-fry.
‘Farmer’s Market Potato’ – Scoville Scale: 4,000 – 8,000
This fresh chilli has the appearance of a potato! With a mild, sweet jalapeno flavour, this chilli is great for stuffing.
‘Hungarian Hot Wax’ – Scoville Scale: 5,000 – 15,000
The Hungarian Hot Wax Chilli isn’t actually as spicy as the name implies. This fresh-flavoured chilli is great for stuffing and roasting.
‘Jalapeño Fooled You’ – Scoville Scale: 0
These thick-walled chillies have all the flavour of a Jalapeno, but with no heat at all! The long green fruits are great for adding flavour to a range of recipes – or as a pizza topping.
‘Lemon Spice’ – Scoville Scale: 25,000
Our Lemon Spice Chillies have a – you guessed it – lemony taste. The Jalapeno shaped fruit begins as a green fruit, which then ripens to a bright yellow colour.
‘Pumpkin Spice’ – Scoville Scale: 22,000
A bright ‘pumpkin’ orange Chilli, this fruit is a type of Jalapeno. With thick, fleshy skin, this chilli pepper has a medium-hot taste.
‘Serrano Purple’ – Scoville Scale: 8,000 – 22,000
The Serrano Purple Medium Chilli Pepper has a good level of heat and a delicious flavour. This thick-fleshed fruit is great for stuffing!
‘Spaghetti’ – Scoville Scale: 8,500
Yes, as its name suggests, this really does look like strings of red spaghetti hanging from the plant! With a thin skin, these chillies are perfect for drying and are very versatile.
Shishito – Scoville Scale: 100 – 1,000
These vibrant green peppers are small and have thinner walls, making them ideal for appetisers and BBQs! With a peppery flavour, they’re great when grilled and served with a sprinkling of sea salt. Our Chillies are available to purchase online only. Get your Chillies here!