These small, bell-shaped chillies are originally from Latin America and Mexico, but nowadays are the most commonly used of the seriously hot chillies. And they are seriously hot!! For many years Habaneros were accepted as the hottest chilli available, although nowadays they have been overtaken by even more extreme examples.
Despite their intense heat, they have a beautifully tropical, fruity flavour which gives much more to your dish than just fire. They have a similar flavour to Scotch Bonnets, and are therefore excellent for use in such dishes as Jamaican Jerk, chilli con carne and salsas. They go really well with anything tomato based, due to their fruity character, and also they work brilliantly with those tropical types of dish including fruit such as pineapple or coconut. Also they are excellent when used in chutneys and pickles, and they are commonly used to make hot chilli sauces.
Due to their heat, it is important to wash your hands after handling Habaneros, and if you are unsure how hot you can take it, use them in moderation. A must for the serious chilli lover!