The big brother of Jalapeño! The Serrano Chili is 5-10 times hotter than the Jalapeño and is used mostly in Mexico. It has a great aroma and, of course, it also captivates with its heat.
This rather small and at first glance seemingly harmless chilli pod does not exactly appear so it could spark real fireworks on the tongue. But appearance is deceptive! Despite its seemingly harmless appearance, this chilli variety is a really hot companion to a fiery Tex-Mex dinner. With a rating of about 10,000 to 20,000 Scoville units, it is even a lot hotter than its big brother, the Jalapeno. But the heat is not all that the Serrano Chilli has to offer. In terms of taste, this Mexican classic has a lot more to it.
The bushy Serrano Chilli plant grows up to a height of 150 cm and a width of 40 cm, the minimum size when fully grown is about 50 cm. Each Serrano chilli plant carries an average of about 50 Serrano chilli pods per cycle. The Serrano is similar to the Jalapeño in shape and color, but is much smaller. On an average, the Serrano chilli is about 4 - 8 cm long and 1.5 cm wide. When immature, the serrano pod is green and matures either red or brownish. As already mentioned, the Serrano chilli forms a relatively thick pericarp, which makes this variety unsuitable for drying, but this is still possible. Of course, we also have Dried Serrano Chilis in our PepperworldHotShop. However, for a longer shelf life, it can be excellent for freezing. The Serrano chilli has a fruity-sweet taste, which is accompanied by a strong heat. For many Serrano chilli peppers, however, the heat effect is delayed, so that it may at first seem like you have caught a spicy pod. Beware of small-cracked Serrano chilli pods; it is often said that the smaller pods are the hottest. The Serrano chilli belongs to the botanical family of the Capsicum annuum and is also known as "Chile Seco", which English it means "dry chilli".
The Serrano Chilli is native to the Mexican states of Puebla and Hidalgo. His name "Serrano" is considered a reference to the mountains (Sierra), where the Serrano Chilli was discovered and where it grows best. Today, the Mexican states of Veracruz, Sinaloa, Nayarit and Tamaulipas are the most famous growing areas and produce about 180,000 tons of Serrano chilies annually. For some years Serrano plants have been grown in the southwestern United States to meet the ever-growing demand for this variety of chilli.
The heat of Serrano Chili is 10,000 - 20,000 Scoville units. Thus, the Serrano chilli is about 5 to 10 times hotter than the Jalapeno. Despite its fiery heat, he is enjoyed raw. Serrano chilli is one of the most used chilies in Mexico and is found in most Mexican dishes.
Due to the increased heat of this chilli variety, it is recommended that you use rubber gloves and do not touch your face while wearing the gloves. Be careful when cutting and chopping the fresh pod, the eyes are very sensitive even to the slightest splash of Serrano chilli.
Like all chilli varieties, Serrano Chilli is rich in vitamin C. It also has a high content of vitamin A and vitamin B6, as well as iron and magnesium. The Serrano chilli is ideal for raw consumption and is often used for the preparation of salsas and sauces. Also, as a garnish or seasoning it is used very often. A few of the generally preferred preparation methods of the Serrano chilli are roasting, grilling or frying, which serves as an accompaniment to many meals. Unlike most chilli varieties, most of the Serrano chilli is sold as a fresh product, and only a small proportion of about 10% of the total harvest is processed into other products.
Probably the most famous salsa, which is made from Serrano chilies, is the Mexican "Pico de gallo" (in English "Hen's beak"). It is made from equal proportions of onions, tomatoes and Serrano chilies and is often eaten with Spanish omelets (tortillas) or quesadillas. Furthermore, the Serrano chilli is gladly added to the guacamole in order to sharpen it a little.
A little tip: dry Serrano chilli pieces pickled in olive oil and make a great pizza spice. Like this, the salami pizza gets the right kick and it adds fire to your taste buds.
Immature Serrano chilies are green and grow about 4 - 8 cm. As with all chilli varieties, the Serrano chilli can be picked and eaten at any time during the ripening process, although it should be kept in mind that the taste changes over time. When the pod has reached its full size, it begins to change color. It will now be either yellow, orange, red or brownish. At the end of the ripening process, it then falls off the plant, but it is also possible that it is already starting to rot while it is still hanging from the plant. Therefore, it is best to harvest the Serrano pods while they are still green or when they begin to discolor to prevent the onset of rot. The Serrano pods can easily be picked from the plant as soon as they are ready for consumption. The longer you let them mature, the sweeter the flavor of the fiery pods becomes.
If you want to grow your own Serrano chilli, you have to pay attention to a lot, so that it really works. One should always keep in mind that it is an exotic plant, and our weather conditions in this latitudes that do not quite correspond. But with a few tricks you get in the good old colder latitude a fiery Serrano chilli from the garden. We reveal how:
So that the seeds of the Serrano chilli can sprout in the first place, optimal breeding conditions must be created. Here a mini greenhouse with heating mat is helpful. If possible, the mini greenhouse should be placed in the house close to the windows to guarantee optimum light. At least 6 hours of sunlight a day are recommended, but the more light, the better. As a basis, soil and light compost can be used. The soil should always be moist, but not over-watered. After the seeds have been placed, it takes about 8 - 20 days for the seeds to germinate. The ambient temperature in the mini greenhouse must be between 22 and 28ºC. At cooler or warmer temperatures, germination will not occur. After germination it is necessary to wait until at least two real pairs of leaves have formed. Once this is done, it is time for picking (separating and repositioning the individual plants). The optimum period for sowing is between February and April, and due to the fresh temperatures in our latitudes, it is better to start in March so that there is no risk of frost at the time of planting.
When picking, the plants can also be transplanted directly into the open. Here it is important to note that this is done at the earliest 2 to 3 weeks after the last frost, as the chilli plants are absolutely sensitive to frost and will not survive this. Outdoors, the Serrano chilli plants can either be planted directly in the ground or put outside in the pot. If you decide for the pot, you can later hibernate the plants. In order for this to happen, it is recommended to cut them back a bit before. When wintering, the plant should then be placed in the brightest possible place. In both cases, it would of course be optimal to keep the plants in a greenhouse.
Basically, the Serrano Chilli plant needs to be fertilized well for optimal results. For this purpose, it is easier to use compost or tomato fertilizer. In our chili fertilizer assortment, you will find everything your Serrano plant needs. The earth must always be kept moist. With pest infestation, well-tried home remedies can help. On the one hand, it helps to put the plants outside in case of pest infestation. Thus, natural enemies of the pests, such as ladybirds remedy can help.
The ripening time of the Serrano chilli is about 70 - 80 days and it can be harvested as soon as the green chilli pods are picked with ease. Depending on the taste, you can also wait until they discolor to achieve a more intense taste and a stronger heat.
The chilli variety best known in Germany is probably by far the Jalapeno (Jalapeño in Spanish, pronounced chala-penjo), and in principle it is assumed in this country that this chilli is the most consumed chilli in the world. That is not so. Serrano chilli is the most prevalent in Mexico, the United States and throughout South America. Even in Spain there are Jalapenos, but even there it is not eaten very often, as it usually does not reach the desired heat level. You think that the Jalapeño is hot not enough?
If you do not know the Serrano Chilli, you should try it. For this we offer you fresh, unripe Serrano Chilli pods. If you're a fan of spicy sauces, try our super-hot Serrano Chilli sauces. And if you want to become a real Serrano Chilli pro, plant your own Serrano Chilli with our Serrano Chilli Seeds. Whatever your burning heart desires, you'll find the right choice here.
This plant from Mexico grows bushy with a strong stem and a bushy crown.
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