Ask Evan: Have Store-Bought Jalapenos Become Less Spicy?

Written by

Every Tuesday I answer a question from a Good Food listener. You can email me a question, leave one on Facebook or add one in the comments section here. This week’s question comes from Hynden:

What’s the deal with jalapenos? I’ve noticed that the store-bought ones have become less and less spicy over the years to the point that now, I have to buy Serranos to get any kind of heat at all. Compared to the home-grown super-spicy jalapenos we get in the co-op, the ones from the store taste closer to bell peppers? Is this intentional or what’s going on? Thanks!

Yep…what’s up with those jalapenos?  Well, it’s either a new (ish) less spicy variety called TAM Mild Jalapeno Pepper, now superseded by the TAM Mild Jalapeno Pepper II or the “Grande” that appears to have taken over in supermarkets.  You’ve noticed I’m sure that not only are they less spicy, but they’re really big!  They were developed at Texas A & M (TAM), get it?