This is the world's hottest pepper. On the Scoville Heat Scale, the Carolina Reaper pepper has an average Scoville Heat Unit (SHU) rating of 1,641,000 with some individual peppers topping out at an incredible 2,200,000 SHU.
How does one explain just how hot are Carolina Reapers?
The heat hits you instantly, your skin begins to sweat, and the intense pain in your mouth is unbearable. Luckily this pain subsides in about 10 minutes.
Check out our Carolina Reaper Challenge to get an idea of how others cope!
The Carolina Reaper is a cross between a red Ghost Pepper from Pakistan and a Red Habanero from La Soufriere in the Caribbean. They are two peppers that are both hot in their own right, despite the fact that neither one makes the World’s Hottest Peppers List currently. This pepper was artificially created, although it is not genetically modified. True to its name, the Carolina Reaper was produced in South Carolina, but it was first called the HP22B. Ed Currie is the man behind the first Carolina Reaper.
The original Carolina Reaper was red, and this remains the most common color today. However, chocolate, yellow, and peach Carolina Reapers also exist. Even red peppers will start out as green and turn orange before becoming a deep red. Through each three of these phases, the pepper’s flavor and heat will increase. So, if you pick your pepper while it’s still green (and eat it before it turns red), it won’t carry the same pungent heat as a red Carolina Reaper.
Carolina Reapers are squattier and more textured than their ancestors the Red Habanero and Ghost Pepper. If you rub your finger along the pepper’s skin, you’ll feel many small bumps and grooves. Most Carolina Reapers have a long, thin branch at the bottom of the pod, which is known as “the scorpion’s tail”, not to be confused with the Trinidad Scorpion Pepper by name, due to its resemblance to a stinger. These peppers typically have a length of 3/4 inch to 1/2 inches long.
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