A new small, yellow-greenish chili pepper that’s taken more than a decade to cultivate has out scaled all others including one from its developer, earning the official title of the hottest chili pepper in the world.
And the pepper was grown with the help of a Michigan-grown pepper.
Just how hot is it?
Called Pepper X, the pepper’s rating averages 2,693,000 million units on the Scoville scale measured as Scoville Heat Units (SHU). The SHU is a measurement of capsaicinoids in peppers. For comparison, a jalapeno rating averages 2,000 to 8,000 SHU’s on the scale while a habanero is considered very hot averaging 100,00 to 350,000 on the scale.
Pepper X was deemed the hottest on Oct. 9 by the folks at Guinness World Records. The measurement was conducted by Winthrop University in South Carolina in August.
This is the latest pepper from Ed Currie who decades ago developed and founded the Carolina Reaper pepper. Currie’s Carolina Reaper was also deemed the world’s hottest pepper in 2018 with a 1.64 million SHU rating.
Currie told the Associated Press that the pepper provided “immediate, brutal heat.”
“I was feeling the heat for three-and-a-half hours. Then the cramps came,” Currie, one of only five people so far to eat an entire Pepper X, told the Associated Press. “Those cramps are horrible. I was laid out flat on a marble wall for approximately an hour in the rain, groaning in pain.”
The pepper, according to the Associated Press, is a crossbreed of the Carolina Reaper that Currie developed with a “pepper that a friend of mine sent me from Michigan that was brutally hot.”
Currie is the founder of PuckerButt Pepper Company in South Carolina. He appeared recently on “Hot Ones” episode on YouTube to introduce the pepper.
In developing new peppers, Currie said on “Hot Ones,” that he starts with the capsaicinoids found in peppers. While there are major ones it’s the “minor ones that really brings it up.”
“You can make something really, really hot, but if it tastes like crap, you can do anything with it,” Currie said on the episode. “When we breed this pepper out, the first thing we looked for is something to raise that heat level to what was going to be the maximum and the second thing was the flavor.”
Currie told “Hot Ones” host Sean Evans, that he’s had the pepper in the “war chest” for about a decade and decided to bring it out to the world.
What is the Scoville scale?
This scale measures the heat level in peppers. The Scoville scale is named after Wilbur Scoville, who developed the test in 1912, according to the website scovillescale.org.
Peppers are ranked their Scoville Heat Unit, or SHU, in millions and thousands. At the bottom of the scale is 0 or no heat and the maximum is 16 million. Peppers are measured for their heat by the amount of capsaicin in them. The more capsaicin, the hotter the pepper and the higher the ranking.
Spot a Pepper X
Pepper X appears to be about the size of a habanero. Its texture is wrinkly and the color is chartreuse-like.
You won’t find the actual peppers, and Currie told the Associated Press he’s not parting with the seeds. At PuckerButt Pepper Company, Pepper X is used in its hot sauce products and other snack products.
Ed Currie could not be reached for comment.
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