Whether you’re a spice enthusiast or if you limit your interaction with spice to rewatching episodes of Hot Ones on YouTube, there’s a good chance that you’d know that the hottest pepper in the world is the infamous Carolina Reaper. But the spiciest chilli pepper in the world has now been replaced with a new one: Pepper X.
The Guinness World Records have crowned the small, wrinkly yellow-green Pepper X as the hottest chilli pepper in the world since it manages to be three times spicier than Carolina Reaper.
Ed Currie, founder of PuckerButt Pepper Company (AKA the company that developed the Carolina Reaper), made an appearance on Hot Ones to receive the Guinness award and to introduce the world to the newly crowned hottest pepper in the world.
Guinness World Records determined Pepper X’s spiciness through the Scoville Scale. For the uninitiated, the Scoville Scale determines the what of a pepper by measuring the concentration of the heat-wielding chemical compounds called capsaicinoids.
Pepper X measured at an average of 2.693 million Scoville Heat Units (SHUs). For comparison, the spiciest chilli pepper found in India falls between 50,000-100,000 SHUs. The previous record holder, the Carolina Reaper, averaged at 1.64 million SHUs.
Now we know the most pressing question in your head must be ‘What does it taste like?’ and we might have an answer!
Currie described the feeling of eating a whole Pepper X as an “intense burn that happens immediately. Then your head kind of feels like, ‘Oh no! What’s going on?’ And then your body just starts reacting. You get it in your arms, you get it in your chest”. He also added that, “It has no real throat burn like the Reaper, but that comes on later when you’re in pain.”
According to Guiness, the spiciness of a pepper is largely proportionate to the presence of the inner white placenta that holds the seeds. Pepper X’s bumpy and wrinkly exterior creates more space for the placenta to grow, thus increasing its spiciness.
Would you ever dare to try the world’s hottest pepper?!