The World's Hottest Pepper Is The Carolina Reaper

The World's Hottest Pepper Is The Carolina Reaper

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.

Eating The Carolina Reaper

This does not look like a good time.

Why Are Hot Peppers Hot?

And how milk helps cool your mouth down.

04:28

Key Facts In This Video

  • 1

    Capsaicin is what gives peppers their heat, and it's most heavily concentrated around the tissues that connect the seeds to the pepper. (0:20)

  • 2

    Capsaicin binds to TRPV1 receptors in your mouth designed to detect hot substances. (0:46)

  • 3

    Capsaicin is a nonpolar molecule and water is a polar molecule, so it spreads capsaicin around your mouth. Milk is nonpolar, so it will dissolve capsaicin. (2:09)

How To Cut Hot Peppers Without Getting Burned

Do not rub your eyes.

See all

Eating

Food

Fringe Theory

Reading

Get smarter every day! Like us on Facebook.
You'll get the most interesting and engaging topics in your feed, straight from our team of experts.