26 December 2013

[liff] Do Not Taunt Happy Fun EXTREMELY HOT Pepper

The measurement of 'heat' in a hot pepper, the Scoville, indicates how much capsaicin - the stuff that makes your mouth light up - in it. The more Scovilles, the more zowie.

Your usual bell pepper - zero, zip, zilch, nada.

The jalapeño, that pepper that seems so peppy when you're a kid but, as you mature you realize it's just a 'starter' pepper … 2,500 - 10,000 Scoville. Sriracha, despite its punchy taste, only rates 1,000 - 2,500.

Well, the jalapeño begat the serrano, which is a gateway to the chipotle (which is actually a smoked jalapeño), which ascend in a dare-match scale up to what was the gold standard of pain … the habañero. Your habañero, now, measures up to about 850,000 for the feistiest specimens. And you'd think the capsaicin arms race would end there …

… but, no. That's not how we monkeys roll.

The habañero led to the Red Savina, which led to the Trinidad Scorpion Butch T. This monster, which starts at just over 1,400,000 Scoville … remember, our humble jalapeño maxed out at 10K, so we're at orders-of-magnitude groesquerie here … was the big gun. It's said that, to cook with it, they had to go in looking like the meth cooks in Breaking Bad, and they still had to endure two days of numbness in the hands.

Now, I hear you asking, why would someone cook with these peppers? Your question is invalid. We're already past the bounds of reason. I say someone cooks with these peppers, you just accept this.

They were just warming up for the peppers, yo.
Since why don't we stop here is not, as I intimated, the way we monkeys roll, you know they didn't stop at ol' Butch T. Oh, no.

Allow me to introduce you to the winner and new champion, the Carolina Reaper. 

Yep. Reaper. As in Grim, we presume. We have the amusingly-named cultivator Ed Currie to blame thank for this tiny little literal bit of hell, which screams directly through your cauterized esophagus at nearly 1,600,000 SHU. Eat it? Shucks, you look at this pepper and I'm sure your eyes begin to dissolve into liquid pools of flaming misery.

But if you want to get you a mouthful of this, you can go to his website, the (heh) Pucker Butt Pepper Company (hah!) and see if you're man, woman, or whatever enough to try. We presume they call it Pucker Butt because The Liquify Your Anus Pepper Company doesn't scan all that well.

In the words of Dr Robert Oppenheimer, creator of a bomb that, quite frankly, is a wet firecracker next to this pepper which I swear to God was scowling at me out of its photo, "Now I have become Death, Destroyer of Worlds."

Indeed. What hath God and Man wrought?

ABC News' Nightline explores the Boschean depths of this thing. Because Nightline is that classy.

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