Monday, December 11, 2023

In A World Full Of Hot Spots, Let’s Take A Reprieve And Talk Hot Peppers

I am a hot sauce lover. I have a shelf in my frig that is nothing but hot sauces and one in my office that has 18 neatly arranged bottles that I haven’t used yet. Over the years, I like to think that my palate has developed to the point where I can appreciate the heat, but also the flavor. I know longer like the heat, just for the heats sake.

So if you’re like me and love hot sauces, rubs, etc., then you need to know that there is a new sheriff in town. Pepper X, has been around for several years and has been rumored to be hotter than the Carolina Reaper. However, until it can be certified, the rumors don’t count. Now, it has not only been certified it has been recognized by the Guiness Book of Records as the hottest pepper in the world right now.

Ed Currie owner of “Puckerbutt Pepper Company” is the mastermind of Pepper X. He is also the same guy that created the Carolina Reaper. Which means his farms now have the two hottest peppers in the world. In case you’re not familiar with pepper creation, a new pepper is created by cross breading different varieties of existing peppers to come up with something new. In the case of Pepper X, it took Currie ten years to accomplish.

According to Currie, “Pepper X is three times hotter than any other peppers that are out there available commercially. It’s twice as hot as the Reaper at 1.6 million Scovilles, so this is a dangerous pepper.”

So exactly how hot is Pepper X?  Well, it averages 2.693 million Scoville Heat Units (SHU). Some have reported it as hot as 3.18 Million Scoville Units. To give you some reference as to exactly how hot this pepper is, consider that jalapenos average 5,000 Scoville units and range between 3,000 – 8,000 on the Scoville scale.

By the way, just in case you’re asked, the  Carolina Reaper measures in at 2,200,000 Scoville units (SHU) with an average of 1.64 Million SHU. The Bhut Jolokia (aka Ghost Pepper), measures in at 1,001,304 Scoville Units. 

If you would like to know where your favorite pepper ranks, here’s a copy of the Scoville scale for you to review.

Peppers and the sauces that are created from them, are much more complicated than people think. The flavors vary wildly, as does the way the heat approaches you. The next time you taste one, look past the burn and savor the flavor. Then make note of the heat. Is it all up front, or does it creep and continue to grow? If it does creep, how long does it last and at what intensity?

Like wine, hot sauces vary wildly. Is there more of a physical reaction when tasting them, absolutely, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Eating hot sauces releases endorphins and dopamine in your brain, which stimulates and energizes you. It also can create a euphoria similar to runners high.

Hey, in todays world a splash or two of hot sauce can’t hurt ….. well it can, but only for a while, and trust me, it’s worth it.