Who hasn't heard of pepper? It is everybody's favorite form of seasoning, right from the Italian pizzas to the Indian curries. What most of us don't know, is that there are certain breeds of peppers that, when consumed are extremely piquant and are sure to cause instant regret to the consumer! These spicy little "fruits" are ranked based upon their pungency (spiciness) & measured along a scale called the Scoville Scale in SHU or the Scoville Heat Units. Let's find out more about the 'world's hottest peppers', by starting off from the top of the list, shall we!
1. The Carolina Reaper
The biggest and badest there it! The Carolina Reaper, bags the top spot with 2,200,000 SHU. This little guy is the product of a cross between 2 former hottest chili peppers, Bhut Jolokia (Ghost Pepper) & Red Savina Habanero. It was bred in Fort Mill, South Carolina USA by Ed Currie who owns & runs the PuckerButt Pepper Company.
2. Trinidad Moruga Scorpion
Next up is a native of Trinidad, with a huge 2,009,200 SHU. It was dethroned from the top spot in 2014 by the Carolina Reaper. It contains as much capsaicin as a 25ml US Police issue of Pepper Spray & is the spiciest naturally occurring pepper known to man.
3. 7 Pot/Pod Douglah
Also from Trinidad, the 7 Pot Douglah is also called as the chocolate 7 pot for it's brownish/purplish outer skin. It stands at #3 with 1,853,936 SH units. One pod of this pepper is said to contain enough seeds to spice up 7 pots of stew, hence the name.
4. 7 Pot/Pod Primo
Another world's hottest pepper is from the 7 pot family Primo, named after it's creator Troy Primeaux (nicknamed Primo) of Louisiana USA is of 1,473,480 SHU. Yellow and Green variations of this pepper are also found with the signature skinny tail.
5. Trinidad Scorpion "Butch T"
With 1,463,700 SHU the 'Butch T' was ranked as the spiciest until Feb 2012 & was usurped by the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion. Cultivated by Butch Taylor of Zydeco Hot Sauce, this one flaunts a little stinger-like tail. The cooks are advised to wear full gear while handling this tiny pepper.
6. Komodo Dragon
The latest addition to the list is the Komodo Dragon with 1,400,000 SHU. It is produced by Salvatore Genovese, the largest producer of chilies in the United Kingdom. He is the good man that gave us the Bedfordshire Super Naga
7. Naga Viper
With a name that is a combination of 2 words meaning 'snake', in two different languages, the Naga viper sits at #7 with 1,382,118 SHU. A product of cross-pollination, this was the hottest pepper in 2011. It was created by Gerald Fowler, of The Chilli Pepper Company located in England
8. 7 Pot Brain Strain
At #8 with 1,350,000 SHU is the 'Brain Strain'. This isn't a product of cross pollination but of selective breeding of desired traits. Its creator is David Cappiello from North Carolina USA.
9. 7 Pot Barackpore
This one is native to the Barackpore town of Trinidad & Tobago & has a capsaicin rating of 1,300,000 SHU. It is found to have a fruity flavor like the rest of the 7 pots.
10. 7 Pot Jonah
This one measures about 1,200,000 SHU and is a bit larger and also is a bit fruitier than the other 7 pots. This one too hails from the country of Trinidad.
11. 7 Pot Infinity
The Infinity was created by Lancashire, England breeder Nick Woods & has 1,176,182 SHU of pungency (spiciness) in them. It also held the record for being the World's hottest pepper in 2011, albeit only for 2 weeks!