Chilli Guide


A substance called capsaicin gives chillies their distinctive hot, peppery taste. The chemical stimulates areas of your skin and tongue that normally sense heat and pain, fooling your brain into thinking they are burning! Capsaicin has been found to repel or poison mammals but not birds, according to BBC. These are some main fresh and dried varieties available in Australia.

Chilli Guide

Bird's Eye

Don't let these small chillies fool you, they pack a punch! Ripe, red bird's eyes (aka scuds) are widely used in Thai salads, Indonesia's sambal, Vietnamese sauces and dressings. 


Habanero's (5cm) are intensely hot chillies that start out green and ripen to yellow, orange or red. You will need to handle with care, as too much will overpower a dish and cause havoc when in contact with your skin. We recommend using gloves if possible when using these powerful chillies.  


Jalapeno's (5-9 cm) are one of the world's most popular chillies. They have thick, green flesh and can vary immensely in heat level. They are perfect for pickling, eating fresh, charred, used in salsas or fried and stuffed with cheese.

Long Chillies

Long chillies are the most common variety in Australian supermarkets. These chillies ripen from green to red and when their seeds are removed, the heat dramatically decreases. These long chillies are great in stir-fries, soups, salads and as garnishes.


Cayenne chillies are small with a vibrant red colour and pointy shape. They have a sharp, bright flavour and contain plenty of heat. In Australia, cayenne is often seen dried in powder form or used in chilli sauces.

Getting Chilli Off Your Hands! 

  • Oil helps dissolve the hot chilli compounds. 
  • Soap and liquid hand wash assist breaking down oils found on your skin. We recommend washing your hands thoroughly after handling chilli and avoid rubbing your eyes or nose immediately afterwards.
  • Chilli oil and capsaicin are more soluble in alcohol than in water. A good splash of rubbing alcohol or even high-proof alcohol like vodka can help wash them away.
  • Soak your hands in milk or yogurt to help any burning sensations.
  • Wear disposable gloves if your hands are extra sensitive.