WorldCrops - World Crops for the Northeastern United States

Malagueta pepper Capsicum frutescens

Malagueta peppers for sale at a market in Sao Paulo (Photo by Frank Mangan)

Malagueta peppers (Capsicum frutescens) is one of the most widely used hot peppers in Brazil. It is a small, tapered, green pepper that turns red as it matures. It is about 2 inches in length at maturity. It is a very hot pepper, with a range of 60,000 to 100,000 Scoville units (about the same as Tabasco peppers).

There are two sizes seen in markets, which will sometimes have different names: The smaller ones are called “malaguetinha”, and the larger ones are called “malaguetão”. They are not different varieties, just peppers of different maturities from the same plant.

This pepper is used to season many regional dishes in Brazil and is used in sauces. In Portugal, the term “malagueta” is used to describe a wide range of hot peppers.

Smaller malagueta peppers, called malaguetinha, for sale at a market in Sao Paulo. (Photo by Frank Mangan)

For information on production and management of malagueta pepper, refer to the The New England Vegetable Management Guide and click on "pepper".

Hot peppers, including malagueta peppers, bottled for sauce at a market in Salvador, Brazil. (Photo by Frank Mangan)

Seed Sources
There are several on-line companies that sell this pepper. One is

A collaborative project produced by: Rutgers Cooperative Extension, UMASS Extension, and Cornell Cooperative ExtensionSponsored in part by: RMA and Northeast Region SARE
WorldCrops - World Crops for the Northeastern United States