Cayenne Pepper vs. Thai Chili: A Comparison

Characteristic Cayenne Pepper Thai Chili
Appearance Long, slender, red or green Short, slim, red or green
Heat Level Moderately hot Extremely hot
Scoville Heat Units (SHU) Typically 30,000 to 50,000 SHU Ranges from 50,000 to 100,000+ SHU
Flavor Profile Earthy, slightly sweet Intensely spicy, fruity undertones
Usage Used as a spice or seasoning Essential in Thai cuisine
Culinary Applications Soups, stews, sauces, marinades Stir-fries, curries, salads, dips
Drying Method Often ground into powder Typically used fresh
Geographical Origin Native to Central and South America Native to Southeast Asia
Plant Characteristics Perennial shrub Small, bushy plant
Growing Conditions Thrives in warm climates Prefers tropical environments
Health Benefits Contains capsaicin, which may aid in digestion and boost metabolism Rich in vitamins and antioxidants
Popular Varieties Cayenne Long Slim, Cayenne Purple Thai Bird's Eye, Thai Dragon


Summary: Cayenne pepper and Thai chili are both popular spicy ingredients in various cuisines, but they have distinct differences. Cayenne pepper offers a moderate level of heat with an earthy flavour and is often used as a seasoning. Thai chili, on the other hand, packs an intense spicy punch with fruity undertones and is an essential ingredient in Thai cuisine. While cayenne pepper is typically dried and ground, Thai chili is used fresh. Understanding these differences can help you choose the right spice for your culinary creations.

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