Hot chili peppers have the best names. They sound dangerous and vaguely threatening. A warning for those stupid enough to actually try and eat one, if you will. Its not like we didnt warn you, they seem to say.
The previous record-holder for hottest chili in the world, the ominous-sounding Carolina Reaper, has had to officially move aside to make way for the aptly monikered Dragons Breath chili a chili so hot no one has actually eaten it yet, for fear it could kill you. How? By literally burning your airways, as if you were breathing fire.
Rather charmingly, the creator of this spicy beast didnt even set out to break records. Mike Smith, a fruit grower and competitive show-gardener from Denbighshire in Wales, was aiming for an aesthetically pleasing chili tree to enter into the UK’s famous Chelsea Flower Show, where it is now in the running for Plant of the Year.
It was a complete accident but Im chuffed to bits its a lovely looking tree, Mr Smith told the Telegraph.
The chili was, however, grown in collaboration with scientists from Nottingham Trent University, who are interested in the medicinal use of chilis as an anesthetic. It was they who verified that the Dragons Breath scored the highest rating ever recorded on the Scoville heat scale, 2.48 million, beating the rival Reaper, which measures 2.2 million.
The Scoville scale measures the intensity of heat in units. The 2.48 million Scoville heat units (SHU) means that one drop of oil from this chili can be detected in 2.48 million drops of water, making it basically weapons-grade hot. For comparison, pepper spray used by the US Army is 2 million SHU.
The scientists believe that if you tried to actually eat this chili, your airways would likely close up from the burn and youd go into anaphylactic shock and die. However, that doesnt mean it isnt a force forgood, not evil.
The capsaicin oil from it is so potent it numbs the skin, giving it excellent potential as an anesthetic, especially for those allergic to painkillers, or even for use in developing countries where access to and funding for anesthetics is limited.
Ive tried it on the tip of my tongue and it just burned and burned,” Smith said. “I spat it out in about 10 seconds. The heat intensity just grows.
Smith is currently waiting for the GuinnessWorld Records to verify his world champion, but in the meantime, if anyone offers it to you, I’d err on the side of caution and just say no.
[H/T: The Telegraph]