The chilis and peppers in Stella Foods herb & spice blends. They are aleppo, ancho, cayenne, espelette, guajillo, jalapeno, and pequin.

The Chilis and Peppers in Stella blends

First of all, what is the difference between a pepper and a chili? 

While the terms "chili" and "pepper" are often used interchangeably, there is a subtle but important difference between them:


Belong to the Capsicum genus, encompassing various species commonly referred to as chili peppers (e.g., jalapeño, habanero, cayenne). Peppers, on the other hand, technically refer to members of the Piper genus, which includes black peppercorns, long pepper, and kava kava. These peppers contain piperine, a different compound, resulting in a biting, numbing sensation rather than heat.


Chilis contain capsaicin, the key ingredient responsible for their characteristic heat, measured in Scoville Heat Units (SHU). This heat sensation ranges from mild to searing depending on the species. While some "pepper" varieties like cayenne can be quite hot, the Piper genus peppers generally lack the intense heat associated with chilies. Their primary flavor comes from piperine, not capsaicin.

Common Usage

Chilis are primarily used for their heat and flavor in cooking, adding spice to various dishes. Peppers, however, are often used for their aromatic and flavoring properties, although some can be used for heat as well. 

The Stella spice blends feature some of the chilis and peppers below. 

Aleppo pepper: Deep red, offering fruity and smoky notes with moderate heat (think 5,000-10,000 Scoville Heat Units). Adds complexity to Middle Eastern dishes.

Ancho chili: Dried poblano pepper, offering deep, earthy, and raisin-like sweetness with mild heat (1,000-2,000 Scoville Heat Units). A staple in Mexican chiles and moles.

Cayenne pepper: Bright red, fiery hot (30,000-50,000 Scoville Heat Units) with a clean, peppery flavor. Primarily used for adding heat, often in powder form.

Espelette pepper: Deep red, offering smoky, fruity, and slightly sweet notes with mild heat (10,000-20,000 Scoville Heat Units). Popular in Basque cuisine, adds depth and character.

Guajillo chili: Dried mirasol pepper, offering deep, fruity, and slightly smoky sweetness with mild heat (2,500-5,000 Scoville Heat Units). Essential in Mexican adobo sauces and stews.

Jalapeño: Green or red, offering grassy and vegetal notes with medium heat (2,500-8,000 Scoville Heat Units). Versatile, enjoyed fresh, pickled, or cooked in various cuisines.

Pequin pepper: Tiny red, packing intense heat (40,000-50,000 Scoville Heat Units) with a citrusy-fruity flavor. Used sparingly for fiery kicks in salsas and sauces.

Remember: Scoville Heat Units (SHU) measure a pepper's capsaicin content, indicating its heat level. Higher SHU means more heat.

These chilis and peppers are used in our Addictive Heat, Honey'd Heat and Smoke & Flame herb and spice blends. 

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