“Gee, I like chile peppers, but I find even the hottest of them, your Red Savinas and your Habaneros’es leave portions of my mouth disappointingly unblistered. Where can a guy find a simple, economical chile that will leave me writhing on the floor unable to breath, clutching my throat, excreting tears and mucus and praying for my own death?”
Kiss your stomach lining goodbye, friend, because the Bhut Jolokia pepper is here!
Now, I am an amateur chile head and hold them in very high regard. I confess that I have greedily pored over the Pendery’s catalog and spent unhealthy amounts of time on DaGiftBasket.com. I am a long time subscriber to Chile Pepper Magazine. But I want nothing to do with this freak of botany.
For years it was assumed by even the chile head-iest among us that a strain of habanero, samples of which average roughly 300,000 Scoville Units*, was the hottest pepper around. But the Indian “Ghost Pepper”, Bhut Jolokia, laughs at 300,000 Scoville Units. “Ha,” it scoffs. Just last year (why didn’t the Indians munching these down step forward earlier? Perhaps they were blind and mute…) it was certified by several different labs as breaking the 1 million Scoville unit mark!
And the taste? Fruity, dry, almost tart, accompanied by the sensation that someone has squirted a 3 ounce tube of Atomic Balm into your eyes and dropped a lit oxyacetylene torch into your lungs.
Sound good? Grow your own!
*The Scoville scale measures the heat of a pepper by diluting it with sugar water until its heat is no longer detectable. The Bhut Jolokia test must have gone something like this: “Okay, I’ve added one part sugar water to the pepper and am tasting it now.
I am back, after a month’s stay in hospital (3 weeks of that spent in a deep coma), and have now diluted the pepper with one more unit of sugar water. I expect less painful results.
Six week return visit to hospital now ended, I am ready to resume testing on this perky new strain of Capsicum…“