According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the hottest peppers in the world are the Carolina Reaper peppers grown in South Carolina by Ed Currie of PuckerButt Pepper Co.
Currie spent more than four years working with students at Winthrop University to alter a sweet hot pepper from the Caribbean and give it more zip. During tests at Winthrop, the Reaper averaged just shy of 1.6 million Scoville Heat Units. To put that in perspective, a standard jalapeno pepper registers around 5,000 on the Scoville scale.
The previous record holder, the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion pepper, was measured by New Mexico State University's Chile Pepper Institute with a mean of more than 1.2 million Scoville Heat Units.
Those are just the averages…
The hottest batch of Currie's peppers, code named HP22B -- Higher Power, Pot No. 22, Plant B -- clocked in at 2.2 million on the Scoville scale.
Currie sells Carolina Reaper seeds and hot sauces on the PuckerButt Pepper website. With names like “I Dare You Stupit” and “Purgatory,” Currie makes it fairly obvious he isn’t kidding about the heat.
This warning also helps to clarify that it might be wise to think twice before trying one of these sauces at home:
“After touching or handling hot peppers always remember to wash your hands with a product containing acidity such as lime or lemon juice. Some of our peppers are smokin’ hot and if not properly handled will temporarily damage skin tissue. When sharing your hot peppers with others, please let them know to use with caution.”
[Los Angeles Times]