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?