There's a bit of a debate going round about which chilli is actually the hottest. We proud Indians still declare the great Bhut Jolokia as the hottest chilli in the world. After all, didn't The Guinness Book of World Records share our view? If so, then where is the disagreement?
It turns out that there are a few candidates for the world's spiciest chilli, and tragically, it doesn't look like our beloved Bhut Jolokia wears the crown anymore. The Bhut Jolokia chilli was dropped from the Guinness World Record in 2012. That said, our Naga crop is still damn spicy, and if you haven't tried PICO's outrageously fiery hot sauce then buy some here NOW!
So who are the contenders?
Bhut Jolokia Chilli. Let's start with our favourite. Grown in the North East of India along the banks of the Brahmaputra and in the hills of Nagaland, the bhut jolokia is something of legends. Rumoured to be so spicy that it could ward away evil spirits, only the bravest of us dare to eat bhut jolokia sauce, and even fewer have braved the chilli itself. Having said that, this power house of a chilli was only a world record holder until 2012, after which it handed over its crown and stepped out of the lime light. But at over 1 million Scoville Heat Units (SHUs), this chilli deserves all the attention it still gets.
Trinidad Moruga Scorpion. In 2012 the action shifted over to the Caribbean when New Mexico's State University declared the Scorpion as the world's hottest, weighing at 1.2 million SHUs. That's pretty impressive considering the Bhut Jolokia had previously held the title at 1 million. Sadly for the Scorpion, it couldn't hold its title for more than a year.
The Carolina Reaper. In the summer of 2013, in a little greenhouse in the hills of South Carolina, USA, a mad genius called Ed "Smokin" Currie, founder of the Puckerbutt Pepper Company, bred a bhut jolokia chilli with a red habanero and produced a monster of a chilli that tipped the scales at over 1.5 million SHUs. Since then, it has held the title of the spiciest chilli in the world, but who knows how long that'll last in this dog-eat-dog world? Not long, we hope!
A word on chilli breeding:
It's tough to say who's right or wrong here, but let's look at the facts. If you need to artificially mix the genes of 2 different chillies, and grow it in special conditions inside a greenhouse, does it really count as the world's hottest chilli? Sure it practically breaks the SHU scales, but doesn't it lose some of that special something when you realise that the plant is essentially a human engineered genetic experiment?
We at PICO like to think of the Carolina Reaper as a bit of a question mark when it comes to world titles. The chilli is, after all, 50% bhut jolokia. I'm pretty sure we could also waste time fiddling around in a greenhouse and come up with some mutant chilli monster, but why would we waste our time when the great bhut jolokia grows right here on our fertile banks?
So despite what Mr Guinness has to say, we at PICO still celebrate the Bhut Jolokia Chilli as the best chilli in the world - if not the spiciest then at least the most noteworthy.
If you have any comments or want to share your views, post to our FB page @picoindia and we'll probably send you a free bottle of our own Bhut Jolokia Sauce as an appreciation of your enthusiasm for all things spicy!
In the meantime, stay hot, stay saucy!