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I didn’t know that: Jalapeño comes from an Aztec word.


jalapeño from Mex.Sp. Jalapa, place in Mexico, from Aztec Xalapan, lit. “sand by the water,” from xalli “sand” + atl “water” + -pan “place.”

From the Online Etymology Dictionary

I didn’t know this word was from the Aztec. I always just presumed it was all Spanish, but the word seems to be a mix of the two.

According to WikipediaJalapeño is of Nahuatl and Spanish origin. The Spanish suffix -eño signifies that the noun originates in the place modified by the suffix, similar to the English -(i)an. The jalapeño is named after the Mexican town of Xalapa (also spelled Jalapa). Xalapa is itself of Nahuatl derivation, formed from roots xal-li “sand” and a-pan “water place.”

Jalapeños are a pod type of Capsicum. The growing period is 70–80 days. When mature, the plant stands two and a half to three feet tall. Typically a plant produces twenty-five to thirty-five pods. During a growing period, a plant will be picked multiple times. As the growing season ends, jalapeños start to turn red. Once picked, individual peppers ripen to red of their own accord. The peppers can be eaten green or red.
Jalapeños have 2,500 – 8,000 Scoville heat units. Compared to other chilis, the jalapeño has a heat level that varies from mild to hot depending on cultivation and preparation. The heat, caused by capsaicin and related compounds, is concentrated in the veins (placenta) surrounding the seeds, which are called picante. Handling fresh jalapeños may cause skin irritation. Some handlers wear latex or vinyl gloves while cutting, skinning, or seeding jalapeños. When preparing jalapeños, hands should not come in contact with the eyes as this leads to burning and redness.
•    A chipotle is a smoked, ripe jalapeño.
•    Jalapeño jelly can be prepared using jelling methods.
•    Jalapeño peppers are often muddled and served in mixed drinks.
•    Texas Toothpicks are jalapeños and onions shaved into straws, lightly breaded, and deep fried.
•    Jalapeño Poppers, also called Armadillo eggs, are an appetizer; jalapeños are stuffed with cheese, usually cheddar or cream cheese, breaded and deep fried.
Sweet Potato with Jalapeño Butter
From AARP recipe guide http://www.aarpmagazine.org/food/recipeguide
under Vegetables
By Monica Bhide
(Serves 2)

Sweet potatoes, members of the morning glory family, have been in the United States since before Columbus “sailed the ocean blue.” Often called the world’s healthiest vegetable, they are nutritional powerhouses, with high concentrations of beta carotene and vitamins E and C. The butter log can be prepared in advance and stored in the refrigerator until ready to use.

* For the Jalapeno Butter Log
* 1 stick (1/4 pound) unsalted butter, at room temperature
* 1 small jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
* 1 teaspoon paprika
* 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
* 1/2 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro
* 1/2 tablespoon finely chopped chives
* For the Sweet Potatoes
* 2 large sweet potatoes

This recipe makes more butter than you need to top the potatoes. Store the remaining butter in the fridge for up to two weeks.

For the Butter
1. Cream the butter and combine with the remaining ingredients.
2. Place the blended butter onto the center of a resealable plastic bag.
3. Using your hands, push the butter to the end of the bag and shape into a log about one inch in diameter. Close the bag and refrigerate for at least two hours.

For the Sweet Potatoes
1. Preheat oven to 375° F.
2. Line an ovenproof tray with foil.
3. Scrub the sweet potatoes and slice in half lengthwise.
4. Bake on foil-lined tray until tender (about 30-45 minutes).
5. Remove from the oven, top each potato half with a slice of jalapeño butter, and serve immediately.

Some more Jalapeño recipe sites:

http://www.jalapenomadness.com/

http://allrecipes.com/Recipes/Fruits-and-Vegetables/Vegetables-N-Z/Peppers/Jalapeno/Main.aspx

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