In Texas, the chile pepper is a staple of many food dishes. Most Texans are familiar with the jalapeño, a medium-sized pepper typically picked when it is green. Originating in Mexico, the jalapeño is widely cultivated in Texas and in 1995 was designated the state pepper of Texas. It can be prepared pickled, smoked (chipolte), stuffed, or simply chopped in salsa. Flavorful, the jalapeño is nonetheless considered to be mild in the range of pepper heat levels.
On the other hand, the Chiltepin, also known as chile tepin, is a wild child pepper, native to Texas and surrounding areas that is very high in heat level. The tepin peppers are often cited as hotter than the habanero, though the tepin chile heat tends to diminish rapidly. In 1995, the Chiltepin became known as official native pepper of Texas. Most botanical experts believe the tepin chile is the oldest form of the pepper plant and, hence, mother of all subsequent peppers.
We love our peppers in Texas, be they the ever-popular jalapeño or the dangerously hot tepin chile.