Want some serious heat? The ghost pepper is up to the challenge


Some of us like our peppers hot, but some of us dream of peppers that are excruciating hot.

We’re talking about peppers that are so hot they leave your mouth watering and your eyes crying for more! Ghost peppers come in a variety of colors, including red, orange, yellow, purple, white, and sometimes even chocolate brown, but don’t let them fool you. Coming in at around 1 million on the Scoville Scale, the ghost pepper ranks close to the top of the hot pepper scale.

Originally cultivated in India, the pepper is so hot it was once declared the hottest chili pepper in the world.

At the time, it was noted the ghost pepper was 170 times hotter than your average Tabasco sauce. While it’s been around for centuries in other parts of the world, the ghost pepper didn’t even come to the western world until a little more than 20 years ago. Sometimes called the bhut jolokia, the ghost pepper goes by many different names, but people are usually talking about the same chili. It took on the name ghost pepper because its extreme heat has a way of sneaking up on you when you eat it. When you first eat one, you’ll sense an intense, sweet flavor in the beginning. Just wait. In about 30 seconds, you’ll likely start feeling the heat.

It may mean watery eyes, sweating, or hiccups.

You may also have some shortness of breath. Your mouth will probably truly feel like it’s on fire because the heat usually spikes over the next 10 to 15 minutes. It likely won’t start going down until 30 or 40 minutes has passed. It’s not just your mouth, either. The oils alone on a ghost pepper can burn your skin from just one touch. That’s why it’s a good idea to wear latex gloves when you handle hot peppers and their seeds. Being near a ghost pepper could also cause some eye discomfort and irritation.

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