Cayenne’s fiery red color is matched by its fruity heat. When fresh, cayenne peppers have a shiny shell and an elongated, fingerlike shape. Their medium intensity really shines through when dried and ground, which is why they are one of the most popular, most-planted hot peppers in the world. Sometimes referred to as a bird chile, cayenne is found in cuisines around the world, from Mexico to India and beyond. A little goes a long way—just a pinch in a curry or salsa will add a significant bit of heat.