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Nice Bhut!

January 27th, 2008 by Mike Nelson · 29 Comments

bhut jolokia chilli

“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 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…

Tags: RiffTrax

29 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Ranika on Jan 27, 2008 at 10:45 pm

    I wish to try these now. I figure if I use only part of one in a complete pot of chili, it may not kill my guests.

  • 2 Brian O. on Jan 27, 2008 at 11:45 pm

    Wasn’t that the pepper that made Homer Simpson hallucinate?

  • 3 captian phil on Jan 28, 2008 at 12:47 am

    i just bought some at a market that specializes in “hot” things and tomarow im gona give it a try with a few friends

  • 4 John H. on Jan 28, 2008 at 2:02 am

    Dear god. It’s like Guantanamo in vegetable form!

  • 5 SarahCanuck on Jan 28, 2008 at 2:04 am

    Oh Lord. My Dad is going to be so thrilled. He’s probably gonna search the internet for places to order the seeds so he can grow them at home. He’s crazy.
    On the bright side, this’ll be really good for people with colds. It might get them to stop whining about how much their nose hurts and focussed on how much their mouth hurts, anyway.

  • 6 AmandaGal on Jan 28, 2008 at 5:03 am

    And they thought my habanero chili was unimaginably hot! I’ve got to get some of this to enter in the local chili competition next year. It’ll at least surprise the judges.

  • 7 MikeP on Jan 28, 2008 at 7:10 am

    I’ve never understood the obsession with heat. I like me some spicy food, but unless you’re a WTO protester looking to relieve the glory days of pepper spray and tear gas, why subject yourself to food-borne agony?

    Miracle Fruit, on the other hand, sounds freakin’ cool.

  • 8 Bill Corbett on Jan 28, 2008 at 7:15 am

    I won’t be satisfied until they find a pepper hot enough to actually dissolve my head.

  • 9 Botchinator on Jan 28, 2008 at 7:21 am

    I thought the hottest pepper ever was flea. Though thats totally a non-gay statement.

  • 10 Kevin Murphy on Jan 28, 2008 at 8:02 am

    Ah, sure, it’s all very butch and all to identify the hottest pepper, but who can tell me which variety of banana is the… bananest?

  • 11 Rufus T. on Jan 28, 2008 at 8:06 am

    Or which variety of strawberry is the starwberriest? Making up new words is fun. :)

  • 12 Adam on Jan 28, 2008 at 8:51 am

    I’m not a chili pepper person. I generally like food that doesn’t hurt me when I consume it. It just seems like the opposite of what food is supposed to do.

  • 13 Jacques on Jan 28, 2008 at 9:17 am

    I find as I get older that even the habernero is getting to be too much for me to enjoy. I love a nice hot indian curry as much as the next guy, but I can’t imagine what it would be like to eat something like this, it must be approaching pure capsaicin in Scoville power. I’ll stick with the little thai peppers, which come in around 100k scoville units.

  • 14 Sampo on Jan 28, 2008 at 10:03 am

    That Mike Nelson thinks he’s the Pope of Chiletown.

  • 15 Natureboy (Ken) on Jan 28, 2008 at 10:07 am

    Bah…Mike is a nOOb..

    Dave’s Insinity Sauce Limited Edition ios the test of a true man!

    Got to love a pepper sauce that comes in a wooden coffin. May I suggest coating your tongue in wax before trying it….having the Riffmaster reading lines like Mhumpf txyo Krokodil MMPH!! just wouldn’t work.

  • 16 Natureboy (Ken) on Jan 28, 2008 at 10:14 am

    BTW – Dave’s Private Reserve which comes in a coffin-shaped package and has been reported variously as from 500,000 to 750,000 Scoville units.

  • 17 Walter on Jan 28, 2008 at 1:58 pm

    This ESPN reporter is a real idiot. He casually takes a bite out of the world hottest pepper.

  • 18 Tim on Jan 28, 2008 at 2:20 pm

    Mike, if you’re actually wanting to burn yourself while eating dinner, I would think holding a backyard-barbeque-style tiki torch to your tongue may be the most expedient tactic.

  • 19 Ranika on Jan 28, 2008 at 2:38 pm

    You’re just jealous of his awesome wooden spoon.

    They say he carved it himself…from a bigger spoon.

  • 20 Rowsdower on Jan 28, 2008 at 5:08 pm

    What do you think was in the Ark?

  • 21 SarahCanuck on Jan 28, 2008 at 7:07 pm

    HAH! That was wonderful!

  • 22 Alicia on Jan 28, 2008 at 9:29 pm

    I’ll have to make a note of people here to not join at their homes for dinner. Regular pepper (the salt&pepper kind) is even too strong for my liking.

  • 23 Pak-Man "Tron" on Jan 29, 2008 at 10:19 am

    I used to prefer tame food. Growing up in the Mid-West, I used to think the Salsa-Flavored Doritos was a bit too spicy for my taste.
    Then I moved to New Mexico.
    There’s simply no way to escape it here. We put Chile Peppers in our breakfasts, on our Pizza, as a side-dish with turkey on Thanksgiving, you can get it on your Cheeseburger at any McDonalds, it’s been put into Peanut Brittle, bread, and we like to decorate our porches, and sometimes our Christmas Trees with the things for good measure. It’s an inevitability, here. You can resist all you want, but some day, you’re going to end up with a group of people who really like Green Chile on their Pizza, and if you wanna eat, you have to eat some. It works its way into more and omre of your dining until you start to crave the stuff, and the Chile Pepper craving is a powerful thing. I’ll go into the local restaraunts and order Chile Relleno (That’s a chile pepper stuffed with cheese and beef and then coated in chile peppers for good measure) at will! I’ll one-day end up being diagnosed with a melted stomach, but I figure that’s the best way to go.

  • 24 Andrew on Jan 31, 2008 at 6:17 am

    My father grows ornamental peppers in his back yard. They are called ornamental because the capsicum level is so high as to be toxic and possibly fatal. I imagine the flavor isn’t what most people are looking for either. Still, I can send you some if you want to give it a shot.

  • 25 Geena on Feb 2, 2008 at 1:35 pm

    That’s funny. As I get older, I find myself more and more preferring spicy foods. Which is not to say I’ll be bending the needle on the Scoville scale anytime soon…

  • 26 Geena on Feb 2, 2008 at 1:36 pm

    Chile Relleno is how I judge any Mexican restaurant.

  • 27 Ike on Feb 4, 2008 at 4:08 am

    I have it on good authority that the Sonic (the Hedghog) chilli dawgs’ key ingredient was red bhut powder. No wonder his ass was travelling faster than his face!

  • 28 Rhonda Bolivar on Aug 1, 2008 at 3:33 pm

    I am growing these chiles. I have seeds. He will love it (or them).

  • 29 chieko on Nov 2, 2009 at 11:50 am

    Will be ordering some Bhut seeds soon and I also found some dried I can order. I can eat habaneros and scotch bonnets with no serious issue with my mouth. Nose runs and if I don’t have a beer or food in my stomach then my stomach SCREAMS! It goes away and then I go back for more wonderful torture after a couple of beers and one in my hand! Have any of you had the issues with your stomach? It’s only the habs and bonnets thus far but I have a feeling this new one will do the same!