Hello and welcome to my pronunciation guide, a constantly updated list of the peppers I use and how they’re pronounced.
If you want any more info on why they’re pronounced the way they are, just click their names and you’ll be taken to the post where I first explained them.
Chipōtle – “chil-poke-t-lay”: Said with L and K sounds that are mouthed but not spoken, affecting the way the next sound starts. If that’s too much trouble, though, do feel free to leave them out. Noone will notice.
The main things to be aware of are that the “o” is like that in “note”, not “not” and that the “le” is not the same as the one in “kettle” at all.
Jalapeño – “ha-la-pen-yo”: Spanish Js are pronounced like Hs and that little squiggle (called a tilde) makes the N into an Ny.
Habanero – “ha-√a-nair-oh”: Typically pronounced with a H but more correctly without. I’m using a square root sign here to denote a sound that’s half B and half V but you can get away with just a B if you need to.
Ají Limon (or Lemondrop) – “ahh-hee lee-mon”: With a longer than normal A, perhaps resembling the satisfied sigh when you slip into bath water just the right heat.
Ají Rojo – “ahh-hee roe-hoe”: More spanish Js and Os like in “note”. Nothing complicated here.
Ají Amarillo – “ahh-hee a-ma-ree-yo”: The double L has a very different pronunciation from region to region but “eey” is the most common and widely accepted among spanish speakers.
Ají Habanero – “ahh-hee ha-√a-nair-oh”: Just the name “Habanero” tacked onto an Ají variety. It’s not even related to a real hab.
Chilhuacle Rojo – “chil-wahh-klee roe-hoe”: Pronounced with “unvoiced” letters like the Chipotle and the same ending and long A from the Ají Rojo. A rare pepper but a logical name.
Chilhuacle Amarillo – “chil-wahh-klee a-ma-ree-yo”: Pronounced with “unvoiced” letters like the Chipotle and the same ending and long A from the Ají Amarillo. A rare pepper but a logical name.
Chilhuacle Negro – “chil-wahh-klee nee-groe”: Pronounced with “unvoiced” letters like the Chipotle and the same long A from the Ají types. The spanish word for black has some unfortunate connotations out of context but it’s an innocent and flavourful pepper.
Bhut Jolokia (ভোট জলকীয়া in assamese script, translated as “Ghost Pepper”) – “bahht-zhoe-luh-kee-yahh”: the “Bhut” is pronounced with a long A like some people say “bath”, only with a hard T instead of a Th. The second word starts with a french J like the S in “erasure”, ends with a long A and has a short, almost U-like A in the middle, similar to how most people say the last one in “america”.
The way I pronounce chilli names changed a lot as I prepared this post and, while I’m confident in what I’ve written, I’m happy to change it again if something is wrong. Just hit me up via the contact me page and let me know.
Thanks for reading,
Your friend Coran “Spicefreak” Sloss.