What’s the coolest part of being a dragon? Correct! Being able to burn things just by burping in their direction. I bet more than once you thought you could breathe fire after having those spicy wrinkled red peppers they sell or the famous tabasco sauce even. Thinking it’s a “burning sensation” you get after being inconsiderate enough to eat this hell food is not exaggerated. Too much of the active ingredient(capsaicin), that makes the hot peppers actually hot, can positively cause burns to the skin. Good news is there is not enough in even the spiciest ones to cause you any [real] burn damage aside from being very very spicy. Bad news is – it is still a poison and if your butt is brave enough and you eat a lot of it you might actually die, because the chemical is toxic after all.
But if you think that tabasco sause is hot you probably shouldn’t ever attempt to try one of the
most spicy peppers on Earth.
For example the hottest tabasco sauce known to be made of one of the hottest peppers barely makes it to the top ten. And let me tell you – the hotness scales progressively(for people bad with math – this means the heat multiplies with every upper rank)!
So, we continue:
There’s this thing called the Scoville scale. This is a scale that measures purgency(that’s spicy heat)*. It measures the concentration of capsaicin in the peppers and transforms it into Scoville Heat Units(SHU).
*NOTE: Just don’t ask if Wasabi is hotter. Wasabi is a completely different type of spicy and it’s more of a nasal sensation where the heat from peppers stays present longer and on the tongue. They go in completely differently. There is one common thing between them though – leaving the system…
Let’s get started. Here they are
the hottest peppers in our solar system
(yes, that is including the Sun).
9. We will start with where the hottest known tabasco sause goes – between 3500 and 10 000 SHU. The Habanero sauce lands at around 7000 SHU. Interesting enough the Habanero pepper itself is ranked higher in the Scoville scale. This is still not enough for you to get the dragon breath. Maybe a little smoke coming from your throat but nothing more. Here you can also find the famous jalapeño and the Chipotle(which by nature is just a smoke-dried jalapeño).
8. Next level is the 10 000 to 23 000 SHU scale range. Serrano pepper, Peter pepper and Chile de árbol are the famous ones that go here. Bear in mind they are twice as hot as the hottest tabasco sause. If you try them you might even create a little spark by sneezing.
7. 30 000 to 50 000 SHU. That is where you obtain the fire breath of a baby dragon. 7 times as hot as the hottest habanero sause. The peppers in this SHU range(Cayenne pepper, Ají pepper, Tabasco pepper, Capsicum chinense) are mainly used to prank your culinary enemies if you are a chef. Emphasis on “enemies”.
6. Byadgi chilli, Malagueta pepper, Chiltepin pepper, Piri piri all go above 50 000 SHU and below 100 000 SHU. This is where if you eat any of them you become a flamethrower. You are now legitimately breathing fire and it is safe to say you can go and challenge the alpha male dragon to a duel, because that is how hot these peppers are.
5. 100 000 to 225 000 SHU. The only proud member of this scale range is the Bird’s eye chili. You wonder how hot that would be? Remember where the Terminator played by Arnold Schwarzenegger got melted in a molten metal at the end of the movie with his final thumb up showing? Well that was actually a Bird’s eye chilli sause. Yeah.
4. 225 000 to 350 000 SHU. This is where the Habanero chilli belongs(the actual pepper from which the aforementioned tabasco sause is made). And along with it a couple of more super spicy peppers – Scotch bonnet pepper, Datil pepper, Rocoto, Madame Jeanette, Peruvian White Habanero, Jamaican hot pepper, Fatalii. This is the scale range where if you eat any of them you don’t breathe fire but rather real dragons start coming out of your mouth. Ask the Targaryens.
3. 350 000 to 580 000 SHU. Okay, things get serious. Red Savina habanero is the only owner of this Scoville rank. Rumour has it that at the bottom of Mount Vesuvius there’s a whole garden of these and that’s where its tremendous power came from.
2. 855 000 to 2 000 000 SHU. This is where we surpass the Sun. One bite from these guys and boom – you get nuclear fusion in your mouth. Trinidad Moruga Scorpion, Naga Viper pepper, Infinity Chilli, Naga Morich, Bhut Jolokia (ghost pepper), Trinidad Scorpion Butch T. pepper are the members of this big withering hot family.
1. 1 600 000 to 2 200 000 SHU and above. Hottest pepper in the Universe? Perhaps, because I am not sure if other intelligent species would spend time on crossbreeding spicy(Ed Currie) food in order to make it as inedible as possible. The winner’s name is the Carolina Reaper probably because “Grim Reaper” and “Death” were already taken.
I suggest you go out, buy that Habanero tabasco sause and try it. Then after and only after you have cried your eyes out from the hot sensation that you just experienced, remind yourself – “This is 3000 times less hot than the hottest thing in existance.” Mind. Blown. And so are your taste buds.