No, I mean the pepper! It is true though that there is a hat with that name: the Scottish Balmoral or Tam o’Shanter hat. The Scotch Bonnet pepper, not to be mistaken for its cousin the habanero, took its name from that funny looking hat, because of its shape.
The Scotch Bonnet, Latin name Capsicum Chinese, is a type of chilli mainly found in the Caribbean islands, including Haiti. It can also be found in Guyana and West Africa. On the Scoville Heat Units (SHU), the measurement of the spicy heat of chilli peppers, most Scotch Bonnets have a rating of 100,000 to 350,000. In comparison, most jalapeno peppers have a SHU of 2,500 to 8,000!
Ripe peppers are prepared for cooking by cutting out the area around the seeds inside the fruit, which holds most of the heat. It has been used for centuries in Yucatan and Caribbean cooking to add a nice kick to their traditional food such as stews and sauces, as well as marinade for meats and poultry. It is also versatile and of course, cuisines worldwide can take advantage of its particular taste. The Scotch Bonnet has only recently been introduced to some parts of Asia, where it is also farmed. It’s popular with many gardeners for its bright colours in vegetable gardens.
You can find the Scotch Bonnet in many Asda and Tesco stores in London. But to me the greatest place to get your sweet hot pepper is to simply take a walk around Brixton or Ridley Market, and have a nice chat with one of the sellers!