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Texas State Pepper

Jalapeño Capsicum annuum Adopted: May 10, 1995
Texas state pepper
Texas State Pepper: Jalapeño TAM
Photographs, prints, posters

Texans surely do seem to love their peppers. They've made two of them official.

As noted in House Resolution No. 105 below, the Texas Legislature came up with many good reasons to name the jalapeño the official pepper of the State of Texas. In fact, it was summed up as a "culinary, economic, and medical blessing to the citizens of the Lone Star State." Wow!

Then, in 1997, the Texas Legislature honored another pepper. The chiltepin was named the official state native pepper of Texas.

Again, the Legislature seemed to have had good reasons for this designation.

One well known characteristic of these peppers, which is barely mentioned in the resolutions, is their heat level.

Scoville heat units, a heat factor assigned to peppers is measured in multiples of 100 units. Sweet bell peppers are assigned a value of 0 Scoville heat units.

It should be noted that the heat units produced by a particular variety can be greatly influenced by growing conditions, environment, water, and heat.

Jalapeños measure in at 2,500 ~ 9,000 Scoville heat units, though some can get much hotter. In the world of "hot" peppers jalapeños are relatively mild, falling at the low-mid range on the Scoville heat unit scale. Even at that, Texas A&M did develop a milder jalapeño, the jalapeño TAM/jalapeño TAMII, that is milder than a standard jalapeño, measuring only 1,000 ~ 1,500 heat units.

H.C.R. No. 105

HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION

WHEREAS, The State of Texas has traditionally recognized a variety of official state symbols that embody the proud spirit and rich heritage of our state; and

WHEREAS, The bluebonnet, the pecan tree, and the ruby red grapefruit are examples of natural specimens that serve to exemplify the abundance and diversity of the Texas landscape; and

WHEREAS, In keeping with this custom, the designation of the jalapeno as the official State Pepper of Texas will provide suitable recognition for this delicious and indispensable staple of Texas cuisine; and

WHEREAS, Capsicums, more commonly called peppers, provided nourishment for Native Americans in central Mexico as early as 9,000 years ago and, following the voyage of Columbus to the Americas, became a popular addition to the diets of people throughout the world; and

WHEREAS, The most popular variety of capsicum, the jalapeno, is considered by many Lone Star citizens to be an essential ingredient in chili, our official State Dish; found in salsa and queso, the ubiquitous jalapeno is used by Texans to add zest to even the most common American dishes, and many brave souls have been known to consume the fiery foodstuff in its raw and pickled states; and

WHEREAS, In addition to pleasing Texas palates, jalapenos are an important agricultural crop in the Lone Star State, which leads the nation in jalapeno production and consumption; these savory peppers are also a hot commodity in the national marketplace, with demand growing at an estimated 15 to 20 percent each year; and

WHEREAS, Jalapenos get their distinctive sting from capsaicin, a chemical used to treat arthritis, shingles, sore muscles, and nerve disorders and believed by many researchers to be effective in the fight against cancer and heart disease; the remarkable health benefits of these small but potent peppers are compounded by the fact that they contain as much vitamin A as carrots and more than twice the vitamin C of oranges and lemons; and

WHEREAS, A culinary, economic, and medical blessing to the citizens of the Lone Star State, the jalapeno is widely recognized as an emblem of our state and is a distinctive reminder of our state's unique heritage and diverse culture; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the 74th Legislature of the State of Texas hereby designate the jalapeno as the official State Pepper of Texas.

The jalapeño became the official state pepper of Texas when Governor George W. Bush signed House Concurrent Resolution No. 105 on May 10, 1995.

You may be wondering why the Texas Legislature decided to adopt another official pepper. Perhaps, the jalapeño just wasn't hot enough!


Sources...

The State of Texas. Legislative Reference Library. House Concurrent Resolution No. 105. Austin: The State of Texas, 1995. Web. <http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=74R&Bill=HCR105>.
The State of Texas. Legislative Reference Library. House Concurrent Resolution No. 82. Austin: The State of Texas, 1997. Web. <http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=75R&Bill=HCR82>.
Shearer, Benjamin F. and Barbara S. State Names, Seals, Flags and Symbols: A Historical Guide Third Edition, Revised and Expanded. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press, 3 Sub edition, 2001.


Additional Information

Texas state pepper
Texas State Pepper: Jalapeno
Photographs, prints, posters

Jalapeno Pepper: Produce Oasis created by POP Interactive.

Jalapeño: EatMoreChiles.com.

All About the Jalapeno Pepper: Jalapeño Madness, a special tribute to the greatest pepper on earth..

State vegetables: Complete list of official state vegetables from NETSTATE.COM

More symbols & emblems: Complete list of official Texas state symbols from NETSTATE.COM.

Jalapeno Madness: Jalapeno Recipes Galore
Jalapeno Madness
Michael Hultquist

Jalapeno Madness: Jalapeno Recipes Galore, by Michael Hultquist. 310 pages. Publisher: CreateSpace (December 3, 2009) This is the ultimate collection of jalapeno pepper-themed recipes, the perfect compendium.

250+ Jalapeno Pepper Recipes: Are you a jalapeno lover? Do you crave the world’s perfect pepper? Did your garden bless you with an overabundant harvest this year and you don’t know what to do with them?

This Book is For You! This fun and crazy jalapeno book contains step-by-step recipes for a multitude of occasions.

Jalapeno Poppers: and Other Stuffed Chili Peppers
Jalapeno Poppers
Michael Hultquist

Jalapeno Poppers: and Other Stuffed Chili Peppers, by Michael Hultquist. 160 pages. Publisher: Quist Interactive, Inc. (February 2, 2012) Everybody loves jalapeno poppers and stuffed peppers. You’ll find them in restaurants, at parties and special gatherings, office meetings, fast food joints, frozen food sections in the grocery store, just about everywhere.

100+ classic and original jalapeno popper and stuffed chili pepper recipes and more! If you love jalapeno poppers, you'll love this collection of recipes with notes on coring, breading, sauces, stuffing ideas and more, along with unique recipes and those you've seen in restaurants.

Chili Pepper Madness: Chili Pepper Recipes Galore
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This fun and crazy chili pepper book contains step-by-step recipes for a multitude of occasions. You’ll never wonder what to do with all those chili peppers again!

Pick a Pepper: A Photographic Guide to Chile Peppers, Their History, and Uses
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Jason W Logsdon

Pick a Pepper: A Photographic Guide to Chile Peppers, Their History, and Uses, by Jason W Logsdon. 88 pages. Publisher: CreateSpace (March 18, 2011) Here is a look at 39 different chile peppers. Some, like the jalapeno, are well known and common while others are obscure and specific to their region. Some are mild like the Anaheim and some are so hot they are literally being used as weapons. Regardless of the properties, each one of these peppers plays an important part in at least one culture around the world.

The Peppers Cookbook: 200 Recipes from the Pepper Lady's Kitchen
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The Peppers Cookbook: 200 Recipes from the Pepper Lady's Kitchen, by Jean Andrews. 229 pages. Publisher: Texas A&M University Press (June, 2005) Award-winner Jean Andrews has been called "the first lady of chili peppers" and her own registered trademark, "The Pepper Lady." She now follows up on the success of her earlier books, Peppers: The Domesticated Capsicums and The Pepper Trail, with a new collection of more than two hundred recipes for pepper lovers everywhere. Andrews begins with how to select peppers (with an illustrated glossary provided), how to store and peel them, and how to utilize various cooking techniques to unlock their flavors. A chapter on some typical ingredients that are used in pepper recipes will be a boon for the harried cook. The Peppers Cookbook also features a section on nutrition and two indexes, one by recipe and one by pepper type, for those searching for a recipe to use specific peppers found in the market.

The majority of the book contains new recipes along with the best recipes from her award-winning Pepper Trail book. The mouth-watering recipes herein range from appetizers to main courses, sauces, and desserts, including Roasted Red Pepper Dip, Creamy Pepper and Tomato Soup, Jicama and Pepper Salad, Chipotle-Portabella Tartlets, Green Corn Tamale Pie, Anatolian Stew, South Texas Turkey with Tamale Dressing, Shrimp Amal, Couscous-Stuffed Eggplant, and Creamy Serrano Dressing.

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This fun and crazy chili pepper book contains step-by-step recipes for a multitude of occasions. You’ll never wonder what to do with all those chili peppers again!

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A Bowl of Red
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Foreword by Hallie Crawford Stillwell: For this edition, Big Bend resident rancher Hallie Stillwell has added her voice and favorite chili recipe to her friend Frank X. Tolbert's classic book, A Bowl of Red.

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W. C. Jameson

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Texas Irons Happy Jalapeno Grill
Happy Jalapeño
Grill

Texas Irons Happy Jalapeño Grill, Jalapeño peppers on the grill are some of the most delicious flavors on the planet and now you've got the tool to make the grilling part easy. All you need are the jalapeños!

Bring out the zesty flavor of your favorite jalapeños when you grill them on the Happy Jalapeño Grill. This easy-to-use accessory holds 24 jalapeño peppers at a time and allows you to create unique, delicious appetizers by stuffing your perfectly grilled jalapeños with whatever your heart desires. The sturdy stainless steel rack assures even heating all around and makes a great serving tray. Dimension: 8x12x2.

Norpro 121 Grip EZ Jalapeno Corer
Jalapeño Corer

Norpro 121 Grip EZ Jalapeno Corer

  • Serrated edge and sharp inner teeth easily removes core and seeds from peppers
  • Stainless steel blade with a soft santoprene handle
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Branding Iron

Chili Pepper Branding Iron, Sports Brand Deluxe Chili Pepper Branding Iron: Your sizzling hot original barbeque brand tailgate tool can sear this taste of hot americana into most any food item. It s for more than just meat! Buns, tortillas, potatoes, pie crusts, let your pride run wild!

  • The head of the brand is about 3" in size
  • Made of quality stainless steel
  • Easily heated on your open flame or charcoal grill
  • Cleans with soap and water