Peppers – Habanero, Rocoto, Ghost
The hot chili peppers we’re looking at today are the hottest by far.
The habanero peppers are one of the hottest peppers that are commonly used by folks who really enjoy spicing up their food. This pepper is usually small but don’t let its small size fool you because the Habanero chili can pack a punch!
The Scoville Heat Index for the Habanero chili can range from 100,000 to 350,000. These peppers can be any color from green to yellow to pink, have a unique fruity or floral taste, and are also called Chinese peppes. They are used as a seasoning for sauces, marinades and chutneys. A hotter variety of the habanero chili is the Red Savina habanero with a rating of 350,000–580,000 on the Scoville Heat Index. (I’m already sweating just thinking about how hot that is!)
Today, the largest producer and consumer of the habanero is the region of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. This hot pepper is an integral part of Yucatan food. In the United States it is grown in the Texas, Idaho, and California.
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The Rocoto peppers look somewhat like bell peppers, but are more rounded and are only green or red. Whereas the bell pepper is considered a sweet pepper, the rocoto pepper is a hot pepper and you wouldn’t want to get these two peppers mixed up. They are grown primarily in Mexico, Central America and South America.
Rocoto peppers are between 100,000 and 250,000 on the Scoville Heat Index and perhaps only just a shade lower than the habaneros. They are still indeed quite hot. If you like your sauces HOT, just add a little rocoto pepper to it!
THE GHOST PEPPER
The Ghost Pepper is probably the HOTTEST but I wouldn’t be surprised if someone produces or discovers one even hotter! (*See my note at the end).
The Ghost pepper is also known as Naga Jolokia, and this pepper is literally the hottest pepper in the world according to the Guinness Book of World Records – 400 times hotter than the jalapeño and four times hotter than the habanero. This pepper has a Scoville Heat Index of 850,000 to over 1,000,000!!!!
Be extremely careful with this pepper because just one seed from the Ghost pepper will have your mouth burning for up to thirty minutes. (Hurry and pass the milk, bread and anything else…I don’t think water will ease the burn for this one!) This type of pepper is certainly not for the faint of heart!
*A hybrid chili pepper, the Naga Viper pepper was the official holder of the Guinness World Records “World’s Hottest Chilli” record as of February 25, 2011 with a Scoville Heat Index of 855,000 to 2,199,999. It is the hybrid produced from the Naga Morich, the Bhut Jolokia and the Trinidad Scorpion peppers-some of the world’s hottest peppers. One other pepper is currently viewed as the hottest pepper in the world with a Scoville Heat Index of 2,200.000, and it is the Carolina Reaper. Remember that the heat index numbers refer to units of heat.
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If I grow peppers and I have a hybrid who can I send it to to get tested??
Don’t know, Virgil. Maybe try your local county agriculture dept.