Ever dipped a chip into salsa, felt your mouth catch on fire, and thought "this must be the spiciest thing in the world"? Well, it wasn't — unless that salsa was made with the Carolina Reaper pepper. The Carolina Reaper is not a subtle ingredient. Deemed the hottest chili on Earth by the Guinness World Records since 2013, the Carolina Reaper is more than 600 times hotter than a jalapeno.
The Carolina Reaper is a crossbreed of a ghost pepper (a previous record holder for world's hottest pepper) and a red habanero, and was bred by Ed "Smokin'" Curry of The PuckerButt Pepper Company (USA). The vegetable measures at an average of 1,569,300 Scoville Heat Units (SHU). By contrast, a jalapeño pepper measures 2,500–5,000 SHU. The Scoville scale is a way of measuring a substance's spiciness by examining the concentration of capsaicinoids, which are the chemical compounds responsible for the hotness. So next time you're sweating because of that salsa, just be glad it's not a Carolina Reaper. Watch people taste test the Carolina Reaper in the video below.