How does roasting a hot pepper like poblano or pimento change the flavor?

How does roasting hot peppers like poblano or pimento change the flavor? I want to make a spicy corn chowder with a fresh, mild pepper, but then I remembered spicy flavors aggravate mine and my boyfriend's GI problems. So I thought maybe roasting the pepper first would tone down the heat, but add a more smoky sweet flavor. How would roasting change the flavor?

  • Posted by: jasmine
  • July 25, 2013


boulangere July 25, 2013
When you roast a pepper, regardless of which it is, you are at the very least caramelizing carbohydrates. In the case of a poblano pepper, you're working with about 3 grams of carbs per pepper. Not a lot, in other words. As has been noted, poblanos are not exactly on the high end of the heat scale, be that the good news or the bad. Still, should you decide to roast them, I would anticipate that they would end up on the sweet end of things rather than the hot.

Your question may well verge into questions as to why commercial salsas are unreliable in terms of their heat quotient. Those that are "fresh" locally, at least, tend to rely upon peppers that have been previously processed to some degree at least. Think about it: for how may years has it been impossible to find a decent frozen chili? I suspect that the reason has to do with the fact that those hot chili flavors are inherently unstable. Just a hunch.
pierino July 25, 2013
I completely agree with Cynthia on all of the above. "Inherently unstable" is a great way to put it.
pierino July 25, 2013
Poblano on the Scoville scale doesn't rate as a very hot pepper. Probably well below jalapeno. Fire roasting amps up the taste but doesn't change the "heat" in terms of Scoville units. When you get up to 60,000 Scoville units as in some Peruvian peppers you are in serious trouble. Poblanos don't come remotely close to that threshold.

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Trena H. July 25, 2013
Hi Jasmine! I think roasting peppers does give them a nice smoky flavor and it dramatically changes the texture which is really nice. When I roast peppers I slip the skins off. If you and your boyfriend suffer GI issues when eating peppers try removing all the seeds and pith, which is the white stuff on the insides. This should dramatically reduce any heat your peppers might have.
jasmine July 25, 2013
Thank you so much! I have roasted bell peppers, but never hot pepper so I wasn't sure how exactly it would alter the flavor. I will definitely be removing all the seeds and thanks for the tip about the white stuff! We love spicy/smoky flavors so it will be nice to have that without the tummy problems that can result after.
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