I don’t know how you feel about chili peppers, but for me, food is not complete without the spicy taste of chili peppers. The hotter the chili peppers, the more I feel enthusiastic to eat the food 😀
As a big fan of chili, this time I will write down about some of the hottest chili peppers on earth and a little bit about the other kinds of the spicy fruits.
A chili pepper was originated in America and has been consumed as a part of diet menu since at least 7,500 B.C. It’s been domesticated in southwestern Ecuador since 6,000 years ago. In Central and South America, it’s become one of the first self-pollinating crops ever cultivated. Christoper Columbus was one of the first Europeans to taste the fruit when he was in Caribbean.
In Asia, a chili pepper was introduced by Portuguese traders for the first time in Lisbon. At the time, Spanish ships were often at anchor in Lisbon from or on the way to America. The traders then took their time to promote it to Asian traders. Later, the trade routes of the fruit in Asia was dominated by Portuguese and Arab traders.
The genus of chili peppers is Capsicum. The five domesticated varieties of the fruit are:
- Capsicum annuum >> It’s the most typical chili that we eat everyday. It has a moderate level of hot. The likes of bell peppers, wax, cayenne, jalapenos, and chiltepin belong to this group.
- Capsicum frutescens >> Some of the species have short lives and some of them are annual plants. It includes malagueta, tabasco, Thai peppers, piri piri, African birdseye chili, and Malawian Kambuzi.
- Capsicum pubescens >> It’s the only species of Capsicum which has hairy leaves and black seeds. This is also the rarest species of chili peppers. It’s famous for its ability to live in a cold temperature, colder than other areas which support the life of the other chili species, though it can’t stand frost weather. South American rocoto peppers are in this group.
- Capsicum baccatum >> It’s more widely consumed in South America like Peru, Bolivia, and Caribbean. It has a citrus and fruity flavor. The likes of Aji amarillo, peppadew, Bishop’s Crown, Brazilian Starfish, and Wild Baccatum.
- Capsicum chinense >> The “chinense” word came from the word “Chinese” as 18th-century taxonomists mistook China for its place of origin. So, the Latin name means “Chinese pepper” in English. Just name all the hottest chili peppers on earth, they will belong to this species. Don’t worry, I will introduce you to these hottest fruits soon 😀
3. The Hottest Chili Peppers on Earth
It broke record once in 2,000 as the hottest chili on earth. The chili is extremely hot and is rated 100,000 – 350,000 SHU on the Scoville scale (the measurement of the pungency or spicy heat of chili peppers). The fruit can grow up to 2–6 centimetres (0.8–2.4 in) long. The Amazonas fruit belongs to Capsicum chinense. The oldest domestication was reported in 8,500 B.C. in Mexico. Aside from its use to give a strong taste for food, it’s also an important substance for some tequila or mezcal. The chili will be placed in the bottles for several days or weeks to make the drink more tasty and spicy.
- Naga Bhut Jolokia
In 2007, the species was acknowledged by Guinness World Records as the hottest pepper in the world. It scales between 855,000 until 1,463,700 SHU on the Scoville scale , and is 400 times hotter than Tabasco sauce. However, it seems that global warming doesn’t exclude chili to experience the impact. In 2005, the spicy fruit which grew in Gwalior (Madhya Pradesh) in India was decreasing in the level of heat by over 50% as a result of global warming. Gwalior experienced drought at the time. In other areas in India, the heat was just rated in 329,100 SHU.
Naga Bhut Jolokia is cultivated especially in India. It can also be found in Sri Lanka, in were it’s called “Nai Mirris” or” Cobra Chili” in English. The pepper is also known as Naga Jolokia, ghost pepper, ghost chile pepper, red naga chili, and ghost chile.
- Trinidad Moruga Scorpion
Let me introduce the king of all chili peppers, Trinidad Moruga Scorpion. The fruit is considered as the newest hottest chili pepper. It has hold the title since February 2012. According to Scoville scale, it sits on the top position of heat level, ranging between 1,500,000–2,000,000 SHU, and 240 times hotter than chilies belong to Clasicum annuum (general chili peppers). The people’s faces who eat this chili golf-ball-sized pepper from the central south coast of Trinidad may go red, sweaty, and felt a tremendous burning sensation in their mouths and throats.
“You take a bite. It doesn’t seem so bad, and then it builds and it builds and it builds. So it is quite nasty,” Paul Bosland, director of the Chile Pepper Institute said about the fruit. According to him, a family could buy just two Trinidad Moruga Scorpion chili peppers to flavor their meals for a week.
Jim Duffy, the person who was responsible to provide chili peppers’ seeds for the study, also admitted the extreme sensation people may feel if they consume the fruit, “People actually get a crack-like rush. I know the people who will eat the hottest stuff to get this rush, but they’ve got to go through the pain.”
Feel hot yet? =p