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Scotch Bonnet, also known as Boabs Bonnet or Bonney pepper, is a variety of chili pepper. It is named for its resemblance to a Tam o’ Shanter hat. Most Scotch Bonnets have a heat rating of 100,000–350,000 Scoville Units. For comparison, most jalapeño peppers have a heat rating of 2,500 to 8,000 on the Scoville scale.
These peppers are used to flavor many different dishes and cuisines worldwide and are often used in hot sauces and condiments. The Scotch bonnet has a sweeter flavor and stouter shape, distinct from its habanero cousin with which it is often confused, and gives jerk dishes (pork/chicken) and other Caribbean dishes their unique flavor. Scotch bonnets are mostly used in West African, Antiguan, Kittitian, Anguilan, Dominican, St. Lucian and Vincentian, Grenadian, Trinidadian, Jamaican, Barbadian, Guyanese, Surinamese, Haitian and Cayman cuisine and pepper sauces, though they often show up in other Caribbean recipes.
Fresh, ripe scotch bonnets change from green to colors ranging from yellow to scarlet red. Ripe peppers are prepared for cooking by those who cannot handle the sharp heat by cutting out the area around the seeds inside the fruit, which holds most of the heat. The seeds can be saved for cultivation or other culinary uses.