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Friday, April 23, 2010

Comparing Dremann and Scoville Heat Scales

“I’m getting ready to order seeds for my garden and I need some information about the heat scales of peppers, specifically comparing the Dremann to Scoville Units.” Now that spring has arrived, getting questions concerning anticipated gardens is not unusual. However, the staff of the Newton Falls Public Library was unfamiliar with this particular topic.

We began with The Vegetable Gardener’s Bible: discover Ed’s high-yield W-O-R-D system for all North American gardening regions by Edward C. Smith. He writes briefly about Scoville Units which measures the degree of ‘heat’ of peppers, but does not compare the two scales. Circa 1902, Wilbur Scoville discovered a way of measuring their spiciness based on how much capsaicin peppers contain. Month-by-month Gardening in Ohio by Denny McKeown and Guide to Ohio Vegetable Gardening by James A. Fizzell had interesting information about gardening in our state, but there was nothing about the heat scale of peppers. We also searched in cookbooks such as Vegetables: the most authoritative guide to buying, preparing, and cooking with more than 300 recipes by James Peterson.

Online we found that Craig C. Dremann of the Redwood Seed Company developed the Dremann Hotness Scale [] which goes from 0-64,000. The list includes various commercial salsas which an unfamiliar pepper eater can use to compare a pepper’s taste to perhaps more familiar ones. Dremann names tepín as the hottest on the scale. An extensive Scoville Heat Scale is available at Uncle Steve’s Hot Stuff []. This site listed Naga Jolokia "Ghost Pepper" as the hottest with 800,000-1,041,000 out of a possible 15-16,000,000 pure capsaicin. Our patron printed a copy of each list in order to compare peppers so he could complete his spring seed order.

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