Everything You Wanted To Know About The Ghost Pepper
If you’ve lived around this little place called EARTH, then you’ve likely heard of the ghost pepper. Up until 2013, it was the hottest thing ever to grace the mouths of the unfortunate people who decided to consume it.
The ghost pepper is still one of the spiciest peppers known to man, and before you decide to find out just how hot it is, it is good to know a bit about its origins as well as why it is was once the hottest pepper on the planet.
Where is it from?
The ghost pepper is grown almost exclusively in Nagaland and Assam, two states in northeastern India, where it is known by its native name Naga Bhut Jolokia. Initially, it was a common spice in the local cuisine (if you can believe that), but after recognizing its extreme spiciness, the Indian government started growing it to make smoke bombs and grenades.
Local residents also found some use for it. They rubbed it on their walls to ward off elephants which would wreak havoc on their homes and crops. Ghost pepper only fairs well in the unique climate of these northeastern states of India, so growing them anywhere else might not yield the same level of spiciness.
What does it Look Like?
The Guinness Book of Records recognizes ghost pepper as one of the spiciest things on the planet. If you happen to be in northeastern India, you’ll recognize the ghost pepper plant as a small plant (around 45 to 120cm in height) with orange and red peppers.
The peppers are pretty big. They can measure up to 3.3 inches in length and up to 1.2 inches wide. They have rough, thin skin, and are conical or sub-conical in shape. A single pepper can weigh around 7 to 9 grams.
How hot is it?
To put it terms that everyone can understand, the ghost pepper is around 417 times hotter than mild jalapenos, or 400 times hotter than the fiery Tabasco sauce. If you’ve tried either jalapeno or Tabasco sauce, then you get the picture.
Let’s get a little more scientific — the chemical in pepper that we recognize as pungent spiciness is known as capsaicin. Birds can’t taste this, but mammals can. It explains how ghost pepper seeds were spread before man began cultivating it.
Anyway, the hotness of any pepper is measured using a Scoville score. Jalapeno, for example, scores 8,000 Scovilles. The hottest pepper in Mexico, the habanero, scores around 200,000. The ghost pepper? A whopping 1,000,000 Scovilles. How’s that for spicy?
The only pepper hotter than this is the Carolina Reaper with a tear-inducing 2.2 million Scovilles.
Ghost Pepper Should Be Consumed Responsibly
You don’t have to go far to see how devastating the effects of ghost pepper can be. Many have learned the hard way; just check YouTube. Don’t be those people. Ghost pepper can be used to spice up the food and can be quite an enjoyable addition to your meals if consumed in moderation.
Better yet, get yourself some Ghost Scream hot sauce here. You won’t have to worry about how much ghost pepper you eat at every meal. Just dip your chips, nachos, or meats in this excellently blended ghost pepper sauce and enjoy the fiery taste.