Also called “Yellow Scorpion”, these chili peppers are an extremely hot, rare variety belonging to the Solanaceae or nightshade family. Known by other local names, including Yellow Trinidad Moruga Scorpion or simply Yellow Moruga, Yellow Scorpion chili peppers are native to Trinidad, where they are cultivated on a small-scale in home gardens.
They peppers are gnarled pods, averaging 7 to 10 cm in length and 4 to 6 cm in diameter, and are deeply creased, sometimes tapering to a small point on the non-stem end. The skin is smooth, shiny, and taut, ripening from light green to bright yellow when mature. Underneath the surface, the flesh is crisp and yellow, encasing a central cavity filled with small, round, and flat, cream-colored seeds. Yellow Scorpion chili peppers have a citrus-forward, sweet, and fruity flavor that transitions into intense, lingering heat.
These peppers rank slightly lower on the Scoville scale compared to their red counterparts, averaging 800,000-1,200,000 SHU, but depending on the growing conditions and stress placed on the plant, some pods may peak in intensity well above the average. The hot peppers are rarely consumed raw and are more popularly used in salsas, hot sauces, and marinades.
The fruity, citrus-forward flavor of the pepper is versatile and can be mixed into stews, soups, chilis, and casseroles, fish-based dishes, rice, beans, and fresh salads. Yellow Scorpion chili peppers pair well with peas, carrots, bell peppers, green onions, garlic, potatoes, okra, beans, rice, coconut milk, mango, pineapple, and meats such as fish, poultry, beef, and pork. Yellow Scorpions are an excellent source of vitamin C and contain beta-carotene, which is a phytonutrient that gives the pepper its yellow hue and converts to vitamin A in the body. The hot pepper also contains high levels of capsaicin, the compound responsible for its fiery bite, which has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.