Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Hottest! Pepper!! EVER!!!

[That title {hottest pepper in the world} had been held until just recently by the bhut jolokia, or "ghost chile," which is grown in India.

But the pepper industry was shaken up this month when it was announced that a British chile farmer, Gerald Fowler, crossbred three of the hottest known peppers -- the bhut jolokia, naga morich and Trinidad scorpion -- to create the Naga Viper.

A regular jalapeño measures 2,500 to 8,000 on the Scoville scale, which measures a pepper's heat. The bhut jolokia earned the title of world's hottest pepper at 1,001,304 Scoville units.
The Naga Viper eclipses that, measuring 1,359,000 on the scale, according to researchers at the Warwick University in England.

"I'm sure the pepper is going to be hot," said Walley, who grows about 350 pepper plants in his west Fort Worth back yard. "My favorites are the super-hots. You have to be careful handling them."

Naga Viper

Fowler, of The Chilli Pepper Co., grew the Naga Viper in a greenhouse surrounded by snow in Cumbria, a small county in England.

Fowler posted a note on his website about how he has spent the past two years -- a relatively short time in pepper growth -- working to create this fiery chile, which he describes as "something really special."

"It's painful to eat," Fowler has said. "It numbs your tongue, then burns all the way down. It can last an hour, and you just don't want to talk to anyone or do anything. But it makes you feel great.
"It's hot enough to strip paint."

He believes that the cold England weather may have helped his peppers become even hotter. "When they're grown over here I think they fight back against the harsher climate and produce even more.]

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