A farmer recently produced the world’s hottest chili. Is he in Mexico, perhaps, or somewhere in South America, or maybe in subSaharan Africa?
Nah! He’s in Wales. That’s right, Wales — that mist-shrouded, coal mining land with towns with ludicrously unpronounceable names, like Llanfairpwllgwyngyll. And the farmer who discovered it wasn’t even trying to create the hottest chili ever. Instead, he was trying to create a novel entry for the Chelsea Flower Show.
The accidentally created chili, aptly named Dragon’s Breath, comes in at a staggering 2.48 million SHU on the Scoville heat scale. To give you a sense of how that ranks, jalapeno peppers are a measly 5000 on the Scoville scale, Cayenne peppers reach between 30,000 and 50,000 on the index, the Scotch Bonnet, a favorite of Caribbean hot sauces, hits between 100,000 and 350,000 on the scale, and the ghost pepper is 1 million SHU — so the Dragon’s Breath is more than twice as hot. Oh, and U.S. Army regulation pepper spray, which is capable of blinding and disabling assailants, is only 2 million on the Scoville heat scale. The Dragon’s Breath chili is so powerful that scientists believe that if anyone consumed one of them they would probably die of anaphylactic shock.
It’s hard to imagine that something so small, and produced so accidentally, could be so immensely powerful. It’s hard to even imagine how something more than twice as hot as the ghost pepper would taste — if you could even taste it before it burned your taste buds and tongue sensors to blackened smithereens.
I like hot food, I really do. But I draw the line at something that is life-threatening.