A longtime in the making and used by many Jamaicans over decades is the Scotch Bonnet Pepper. Early settlers and original people in the Caribbean were using peppers and pimentos to cure and preserve their meat for later use. Back then, the ancestors could not envision that scotch bonnet peppers would become big business and that’s why scotch bonnet peppers are in such high demand.
Spicy food has been part of the Jamaican culture since the 1600s. In fact, pepper has long been popular among Caribbean people who love their spicy food. But over the past thirty years or so, scotch bonnet peppers has become more noticeable, it has become big business in Jamaica. Peppers in general are in demand around the world but when it comes to scotch bonnet pepper, that’s the pepper Jamaica is known for. Now, people are exploring the many business possibilities that pepper has to offer over the traditional use and that’s why scotch bonnet pepper is in such high demand.
One could say eating spicy food is a way of life for many Caribbean Islands. But today, the demand for scotch bonnet peppers has grown tremendously. What is scotch bonnet pepper you ask? Some Jamaicans and many people from the Caribbean may say it’s the best spicy pepper to eat and cook with. This pepper is not register as the hottest pepper in the world but the flavor is unique. The primary use of pepper is for cooking, seasoning and making hot pepper sauce. Research has shown that scotch bonnet pepper is beneficial to our health because of its antioxidant, nutrients, minerals and vitamins.
This pepper can also be used to make pepper spray. Pepper Spray is the aerosol that if it’s sprayed in your eyes, it can bring harm to the eyes. It will cause swelling of the mucous membranes and cause temporary blindness to the eyes. According to the Hot Pepper Chile Institute out of New Mexico, USA, Scotch Bonnet Pepper is rated as the eight hottest peppers in the world at 350,000 SHU (Scoville Heat Units). Currently, Trinidad and Tobago has the hottest pepper in the world.
In looking back in history, many times the answer is there. Any measures of success usually start with an idea, but it requires a doer to take action. Yes, entrepreneurs are born everyday but in the age of social network, farming is hard work. Farming is career you are born to do, it may be a hard sell to convince someone to become a farmer. Today, JAPA (Jamaica Agro-Processors Association) is encouraging locals to increase their production of peppers. Peppers are sold locally in Jamaica as well as for oversea export to the global market.
These farmers are in a great position to take advantage of the heavy demand for peppers. In the past, some companies would import peppers to Jamaica but today they are looking to take advantage of the local markets. What’s remarkable is how the demand for scotch bonnet peppers continues to grow. The capsaicin in the pepper which gives the pepper it’s heat, is what the public craves for.
They love the heat to make the jerk seasoning for the popular jerk chicken, jerk pork, jerk fish and so much more. Then there is the hot sauce that some people can’t leave home without. The growth of Scotch Bonnet Peppers and its popularity has gotten so high to the point that companies are keeping extra inventory in storage. They are planning for the days of natural disaster when their crops are not doing well, they will still have supplies