Chilli peppers look different. They come in different shapes, sizes and colours. But they also differ in another important way, which is their hotness. If you love chilli, you'll know that there are some real challenges among chilli peppers. The biggest of these is undoubtedly the Carolina Reaper. How hot does it actually burn? And who can compete with it? We'll find out in today's article.
The hotness of chilli peppers is measured on the Scoville scale and is measured in SHU units. The criterion is the amount of capsaicin (the hot component) in the pepper. If we are looking for a clear winner in this category, it is definitely the Carolina Reaper.
Name: Carolina Reaper
Heat level: 1 400 000 - 2 200 000 SHU
Capsicum species: Capsicum chinense
Where does the Carolina Reaper come from?
Like all chillies, the origin of the Carolina Reaper was intentional. This pepper was introduced to the world by Ed Currie and was the result of a cross between two other champions: the Bhut Jolokia and the Red Habanero. Its cradle is South Carolina.
Ed Currie was interested in indigenous tribes in the equatorial region. He found that they consumed large quantities of chilli and did not suffer from cancer or heart disease. Whether it was this finding that led him to grow such a potent pepper, we don't know. What we do know is that this pepper has no rival in the world.
Unique world record holder
Since 2013, the Carolina Reaper has been listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's hottest pepper. Reaching up to 2,200,000 SHU, it provides a memorable ride for all who dare to taste it.
And how long does this pepper affect a person after consumption? That's pretty individual. But for example, when Matt Gross attempted to break a world record in 2014 by eating three of these chillies, he said it took him almost 15 hours to fully recover from the experience.
If you're already sweating when you eat a Jalapeño, then be prepared for streams of sweat and tears when you eat a Carolina. It's 300 times hotter than the mentioned Jalapeño.
What real hell looks and tastes like
Carolina is quite distinctive. It is roughly 3-5 cm wide and 5-8 cm long. Its surface is wrinkled and bright red. To distinguish it from its competitors, it has a distinctive tip that resembles the tail of a scorpion.
If you love a challenge and aren't afraid of a very strong pungency, then you might be interested to know that the Carolina Reaper has a really rich flavour. While the average mortal will be in pain when consuming it, you can taste notes of chocolate, cinnamon and cherry.
Does the Carolina Reaper have a rival?
The world of chilli is very dynamic and new varieties are constantly emerging with the aim of breaking the new world record. In recent years, potential competitors such as Dragon's Breath Pepper and Pepper X have emerged. However, no official reports or measurements prove the defeat of the Carolina Reaper. Thus, it continues to hold its top spot.
Try the Carolina Reaper with the Hot Chip Challenge!
Want to conquer the ultimate chilli challenge and try what real hell tastes like? Then try it with the Hot Chip Challenge! We'll send you a package that includes chips made from the world's hottest pepper. You'll find out for yourself just how hot this champion is.
Many brave souls have already taken part in our challenge and you can find their videos on Instagram under the hashtag ##HOTCHIPCHALLENGE. Join them and experience something you'll never forget.