The history of the jalapeño
The jalapeño pepper is believed to have originated in Mexico and was first cultivated by indigenous peoples living in present-day Veracruz as early as 8000 BC. The name “jalapeño” comes from Xala-peño, which means “from Xala” (an area near Veracruz). Jalapeños were then brought to other parts of South America during Spanish colonization in the 1500s, eventually spreading throughout North America.
More than 40,000 acres of land in Mexico are dedicated to growing jalapeños in the Papaloapan river basin and Delicias, Chihuahua areas. China, Peru, Spain, and India are major commercial jalapeño producers.
Jalapeños come in two varieties—green or red—and can range anywhere from mild heat levels up to extremely hot, depending on how ripe they are. While jalapeños are known for their heat, you can often find mild jalapeno varieties that offer a delicious flavor without the spiciness. You can also find jalapeño in dried and smoked forms, adding more vibrant flavors to your dishes.
Jalapeños are good — and good for you
Whether you prefer a jalapeño that packs some heat or one with milder flavors, jalapeño is famous for a reason. In addition to their unique flavor and texture, jalapeños are full of vitamins and minerals such as vitamins A, B6, C, K, and folate. They also contain high amounts of dietary fiber, which can help digestion. Additionally, jalapeños are low in calories and fat, making them a great addition to any health-conscious diet.
Beans are a staple of Mexican cuisine, and pinto beans are no exception! Often found in Mexican favorites like tacos and burritos, beans are integral to many classic dishes.
Fun facts about jalapeños
- Jalapeños are a type of berry. That’s right—whole jalapeño peppers are technically considered berries because they have many tiny seeds inside. Another fun fact is that jalapeño pepper farms take up more than 45,000 acres of land in the United States alone!
- Jalapeños have small brown lines that look like veins. They are called “lignification” and result from a process known as “corking.” This means that the pepper’s skin becomes thicker and more rigid as it ages, making it less prone to damage. It also helps regulate maturation and ripening, so it’s vital to the jalapeño’s development! So next time you’re enjoying some jalapenos, take a moment to appreciate the science behind them. They are an incredible pepper!
- The humble jalapeño comes from capsaicin, and the heat can range from mild to medium-hot. The level of capsaicin is measured in Scoville units — most jalapeños are between 2,500 and 10,000 Scoville units in general.
- Jalapeños have a good shelf life if stored correctly – at 45°F; they can last up to 8 weeks! So you can enjoy spicy jalapeno dishes all year round. So don’t forget to give your meal a little jalapeño kick!
Are pinto beans nutritious?
- Greek philosopher and famed mathematician Pythagoras was an ascetic vegetarian with a deep detest for beans. He believed that beans held the souls of the dead. But he’d have second thoughts if he were around today. Because who could really not love La Costeña’s Pinto Bean recipes?
- Approximately 67,635 people worldwide (most prevalent in the US) have the last name Bean, the 8,424th most common surname
- The largest serving of beans and rice weighs 4,398 pounds and 3.5 ounces, achieved by India’s Department of Tourism and Civil Aviation in January 2020.
- The most consumed beans in the US are pinto.
In addition to all the health benefits jalapeños offer, they also provide fun facts that can leave you amazed! Grab your can of jalapeños at a store near you.
Plus, you can use jalapeños to make all sorts of delicious dishes. From appetizers and snacks to full-on meals packed with flavor, there’s no shortage of ways to enjoy this peppery treat! So why not go and see what culinary masterpiece you can create? Remember, the riper they are, the spicier they tend to be!
Want to try La Costeña jalapeños in another dish? Check out these Meatballs in Chipotle Sauce.
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