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Albany Times Union

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A lot of young people are just finding out about this and feel cheated.  Did you know jalapeños are less spicy than they used to be?

Your grandparents’ jalapeño had a lot more kick to it.  Then around 40 years ago, farmers intentionally started growing them to be bigger and less hot.

Most of the ones we grow now are used in things like pre-made salsa and flavored chips.  And food companies wanted them mild, so they’d be more consistent.  That’s easier when you’re less likely to get a batch that’s REALLY hot.

Hotter jalapeños still exist, but tend to come from smaller farms.  Most of the ones at grocery stores are called “TAM 2” peppers, created by a team at Texas A&M.

If food companies want to make things spicier now, they usually add an extract . . . the same stuff used in pepper spray.