Are Jalapenos A Vegetable: Debunking the Myths and Truths? It’s often difficult to know what’s true and what’s not when it comes to food, especially with the Internet. It can be especially confusing when it comes to hot peppers like jalapeños. Many people strongly disagree on whether jalapeños are a vegetable (in which case they shouldn’t be served raw) or a hot pepper that should be avoided at all costs. Let’s look at both sides of this argument, debunking some common myths along the way so you can make your own informed decision.

Jalapeño Is Spanish for “Pepper”

Yes, but it’s also the Spanish word for “pepperoncino” or “a little pepper.” This is because the jalapeño is a hybrid pepper, and the “N” and “P” in its name are part of the pepper plant. The word “jalapeño” is a corruption of the Nahuatl word jalapeno, a hybrid word of the indigenous Aztec word xalapantli and the Nahuatl word pahuatel, meaning “fragrant cactus.”

Jalapeños Are Fresh Peppers

Are Jalapenos A Vegetable

Wild jalapeños are green, but domesticated jalapeños are often orange. The orange jalapeño is a cross between the green jalapeño and sweet bell pepper, not a fresh pepper at all. The orange jalapeño is actually a cross between the yellow and orange cultivars of bell pepper, not a true orange jalapeño like you would find in the grocery store. Both types are classified in the same genus as the other red, yellow, and orange peppers and are botanically the same species.

Jalapeños Are Dried Peppers

Dried jalapeños are often used for salsa and other dishes, but technically, a jalapeño is a pepper. The dried pepper is a fully ripened bell pepper harvested and cured in salt. This preserves the pepper’s enzymes and avoids its softening when heated.

Jalapeños Are Mexican Triggers

Of all of the myths about peppers, this is the most common—and it’s just not true. The term “triggers” is a term used to describe foods that will make someone feel intense emotions. Such as spicy food that is a long-time favorite of someone who has a loved one who died. The idea that Jalapeños are “Mexican” triggers a complete misunderstanding of the Aztec origin of the jalapeño and the fact that peppers were eaten outside of Mexico long before the Spanish arrived.

Why You Shouldn’t Serve Raw Jalapeno

Raw jalapeños are dangerous. If you eat a raw jalapeño, it’s possible that you could develop a life-threatening allergic reaction. The issue is that most individuals are allergic but don’t realize it until it is too late. Frequently, people are unaware that they are allergic to spicy peppers. In some instances, the allergic response is only brought on by a jalapeo.

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Jalapeños are a hot pepper in the same genus as bell peppers. They are not a vegetable, fruit, herb, spice, a condiment, Mexican ingredients, a trigger, or anything else. They are simply hot pepper. And while they can be eaten raw, most people find them best when cooked.

There is a lot of confusion surrounding jalapeños, but one thing is certain: they are a very spicy pepper. To enjoy jalapeños raw, you should take a step back and consider your tolerance level. If you like spicy food, a raw jalapeño will be hot.

If you’d like to try jalapeños but aren’t sure if you’re up for the heat, try eating a raw jalapeño slice or two first to see how you like the spiciness. For those who are interested in the debate, the bottom line is that you should enjoy jalapeños however you choose!