NEW! A Pepper Joe's special hot pepper rarity! PJ's Guam Boonie comes from a Guamanian friend. These super tasty gems come from a long tradition in Guam.
The attraction of the Guam Boonie is its heat. It can be very intense at first and then evens out and lingers on your tongue and lips which can last for a while (about four to seven times longer than a jalapeno). It can also cause a little numbness. There's definitely a lot of tingling going on. Another attribute of the Boonie is that its heat can be amplified by crushing them (using a mortar and pestle or a small bowl and the back of a spoon). The heat tends to also bring out the sweetness in foods. So what hits your palate first is the heat, then sweet followed by the other flavors of the dish giving a greater depth to your flavor profiles when used correctly. Guamanians do not usually dry these peppers, they prefer them fresh. If not fresh, then frozen and maybe as a last resort, in a paste.
To grow Boonie Peppers, the plants like lots of sunlight, growing space, mild to very warm temperatures and humidity. They easily die in the cold. But once the fruit is harvested, it can easily be kept fresh longer by freezing with the stems on. Take them out of the freezer and leave them on the counter until they reach room temperature and they are almost as good as fresh.
The Boonie Pepper is a relative of the Thai Bird Chile and Malagueta/Malaga Bird Pepper. While they are similar in looks, they are distinctly different peppers in heat and taste. These peppers are like coffee beans. While most look the same, their taste differs dependent upon the climate, soil and growing conditions. The Thai Chili tends to be more on the "sweeter" side, meaning less heat and a more subtle flavor than the Guam Boonie. The Malagueta comes close to heat but its effects are not as long lasting. Scoville Heat Units: 16,000 - 40,000 SHUs.