Hot Paper Lantern chili peppers widely vary in appearance depending on growing conditions, but the peppers are generally elongated, curved to straight pods, averaging 7 to 10 centimeters in length, and have a conical to pendant shape that tapers to a slender, distinct point on the non-stem end. The skin is waxy, firm, and smooth to slightly wrinkled with shallow creases, ripening from green, orange, to orange-red when mature. Underneath the surface, the flesh is thin and crisp, encasing a narrow, central cavity filled with small round and flat, cream-colored seeds.
Hot Paper Lantern chili peppers have a subtly sweet, fruity flavor followed by an intense, very hot level of spice that is centered in the back of the throat.
The peppers range 150,000-450,000 SHU on the Scoville scale, measuring slightly hotter than common Habanero Orange varieties, and the pods are also slightly larger and more exaggerated in length. Despite their differences in heat and physical appearance, Hot Paper Lantern chile peppers can be used as a substitute for common habanero varieties in culinary applications and will add intense spice with fruity, sweet flavors. The peppers can be harvested at any stage of maturity but are most commonly utilized in cooking when red and fully ripe.