For the love of Madame Jeanette

Chillies, Sauces, South America


Andrew’s Essential Fiery Food Facts that a Pyro- Gourmanic needs to know

Part 32

For the love of Madame Jeanette
Madame Jeanette is a great Habanero variety. Rumoured to be named after a famous Brazilian prostitute, her pods are elongated, wrinkled and look somehow grown over. Ripe pods radiate in a sun-yellow or red, depending on the variety. Because of the beautiful yellow generally associated with the species, she is nicknamed Suriname Yellow.

It is thought that Suriname is the origin of Madame Jeanette, a country in South America which borders French Guiana and Brazil.

Madame Jeanette are nice, tropical fruity tasting pods. The Madame Jeanette Chillies have aromas of Mango, Pineapple and a hint of Vanilla. She is really hot, not to the extent of the Carolina Reaper although closer to her relatives the Habanero and Scotch Bonnet.

Because of her fiery, sharp appearance, her beauty and her slender growth she has received the name Madame Jeanette.

The Madame Jeanette has some similarities with Aji Umba, also from the Amazon region. Chillies of the Aji’s family are only slightly thicker and their yellow colour is slightly darker. These two Chilli varieties obviously have a close relationship.

When cutting a Madame Jeanette their few seeds fall on. Often her pod won’t produce more than ten Chilli seeds. Because of the aroma and the few seeds, Madame Jeanette is a first class chilli for the kitchen. It is obvious to plant these on balconies and in small urban gardens.

Madame Jeanette belongs to the species of Capsicum chinense. Capsicum is the genus name of the Chilli family, which belongs to the nightshade family. The famous botanist and baron of Jacquin gave the Capsicum chinense its name in the 17th century. Since these plants were widespread in China at the time, it was a mistake to call this chinense. Originally the Habanero varieties come from South America. There they were the most widespread in today’s Mexico, in Cuba and in the Amazon basin.

The sharpness of the Madame Jeanette is quite different. It is better to snack carefully on the pods of the Habanero varieties. Some have only about 100,000 Scoville Heat Units (SHU), and some Chilli pods may be spicy up to 400,000 Scovilles. If these outliers are not taken into account, Madame Jeanette will consistently be at a severity level of 8-9 . Specifically, up to 325,000 SHU on the Scoville scale. The sharpness unfolds on the tongue lightning-like then to hold out long in the throat.


What to do with this fiery Madame

Actually, Madame Jeanette are to be used for all sorts of sharp recipes. For fruity Chilli sauces, Tropical Salsas as well as for hot Chilli powder. Brilliant fresh in Chilli con carne, spicy soups and for garnishing cold salads.




Sambal is a Traditional Indonesian paste that is made either cold or warm from chillies.


4 tbls olive oil

5 Madame Jeanettes

120 gm Onions

2 Garlic cloves

2 tsp Sea salt


Sambal is a paste that is made either cold or warm from chillies. With garlic and olive oil, the already great aroma of Madame Jeanette Habaneros can still be lifted. Add vegetable oil to a pan and heat slightly. Onions are diced and sweated. Add finely chopped chilies and simmer for a few minutes while stirring. Season with salt and cane sugar. This spice paste may taste a bit salty.

When Onions and chillies are soft braised, beat with a wooden spoon. A mortar is even better suited to make the paste. Do not overwork the sambal with the pestle, the seeds should not be crushed.





3 Madame Jeanette

120gm Onions

200 gm Tomatoes

3 tbls white wine Vinegar

6 tbls Rice Bran oil

2 tbls Worcestershire sauce

3 tbls Orange juice

1 tsp Oregano


Chop onions and tomatoes and mix with wine vinegar and Worcester sauce. Cut two Madame Jeanette pods into small pieces. Round off with orange or mango juice. With herbs such as oregano or herbs of Provence you give the marinade even more flavour dimensions. Nothing goes better at a barbecue than Chilli BBQ sauce.




1 Red Pawpaw, peeled, seeded, and roughly diced

6 Madame Jeanettes, stemmed and seeded

1/4 cup diced Onion

1/4 cup white Vinegar

1/4 cup Limes fresh juice,

1 tbls dark brown sugar

1 tsp Garlic freshly chopped

1 tsp Ginger freshly minced

1/8 tsp gnd Pimento

1/8 tsp gnd Cloves

1/8 tsp gnd cinnamon

1/8 tsp gnd Nutmeg


Processor Pawpaw, Madame Jeanette, Onion, Vinegar, Lime juice, brown Sugar, Garlic, Ginger, Pimento, Cloves, Cinnamon, and nutmeg in food processor. Puree until smooth.

Transfer mixture to a medium pan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 mins, stirring frequently. Season to taste with Salt and Pepper. Let cool to room temperature, then transfer to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to a week.