It doesn’t get hotter than this!

Continuing from my previous blog post of spicy pizzas. Let’s grab an extra slice (or shall we call it extra chilli?) helping on the topic of chillies!

What is the hottest chilli you have ever tasted? Was it your uncle’s jamming jars full of old pickled jalapenos, or the secret not-for-sale behind the counter chilli sauce at your favourite pizzeria? The strongest chilli I ever tried was a spine-tinglingly hot Moruga Scorpion chilli, homegrown by my son-in-law Giorgio. That left my mouth numb for the rest of the evening but nonetheless gave me a rewarding feeling that I can remember to this day.

Let’s do a rundown of the current top 3 hottest chillies in the world:

1. Carolina Reaper (2.2 million SHU)
2. Trinidad Moruga Scorpion (2.0 million SHU)
3. 7 Pot Douglah (1.85 million SHU)

These are all measured on the Scoville scale – SHU for Scoville Heat Units – named after its creator Wilbur Scoville, who in 1912 devised the method for measuring the relative heat / spiciness of chillies. Don’t forget that individual chillies on a plant can vary in strength, so the above chillies are as measured at the time. Not all chillies of the same species have the same strength (although if you eat a whole Carolina Reaper and it is no stronger than a green pepper you will have been blessed with the most incredible fortune!)

There are many budding chilli growers out there in the world trying to win big; to beat the Carolina Reaper at its own game and to knock it off its long-held top slot; but none have managed so far!

To put into context the absolute bonanza of chilli heat provided by the top 3 in the list above, below are the Scoville measurements of some well-known chilli species, including some that I personally use on my spicy pizzas!

Scotch Bonnet – 350 000 SHU
Habanero – 350 000 SHU
Bird’s Eye Chilli – 225 000 SHU
Cayenne Pepper – 50 000 SHU
Jalapeno Pepper – 10 000 SHU

And the good old green bell pepper goes at the bottom of the scale with a big old zero SHU.

What is your favourite chilli?

- Cal

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