The Red-Hot Carolina Reaper

The Red-Hot Carolina Reaper

Developed by US breeder Ed Currie, the Carolina Reaper was declared as

the world’s hottest chili pepper in 2017 by Guinness World Records. The

gnarled, red pepper with a bumpy texture and small pointed tail. The Carolina

Reaper is a cultivar of a capsicum chinense plant. This flaming pepper is a

cross between a La Soufriere pepper from the Caribbean and a Naga Viper

pepper from Pakistan. On the Scoville scale, which measures chili pepper

spiciness, the reaper clocks in at about 1,641,183 SHUs, or Scoville heat units.

Compared to an average Jalapeno pepper, it measures about 150 to 880

times hotter. The Carolina Reaper is truly a pepper that packs a punch.


Blistering Beginnings

The Carolina Reaper originated in Fort Mill, South Carolina and made its debut

in 2013. The exceptionally hot pepper gets its name Reaper from the shape of

its tail. The first bite of the pepper may be slightly sweet, but it is followed by

intense heat. The burn comes from the density of capsaicinoids, specifically

capsaicin, which relates directly to the intensity of chili pepper heat and

Scoville scale. This relatively young pepper can be used for a variety of reasons such as

Reaper Hot Sauce, dehydrated to make pepper powders or flakes, as dry rubs

or premade seasonings, and even fresh in any dish. Some unique uses for the

Carolina Reaper are for Insanity Wings and pepper eating contests. Chicken

wings are a popular dish for experimenting with spices. All over the United

States you can find insanity wing eating contests for the hottest wings

imaginable. These contests are available both online and in-person. Similarly,

pepper eating contests are another popular challenge involving the Carolina

Reaper. These contents are more commonly found at local fairs and carnivals.

Most contestants do not even make it to the top of the pepper where the

Carolina Reaper is due to the excruciating heat of the pepper.


Too Hot To Handle

This little red pepper is great in a chili, but it is important to be extremely

cautious with how much you use. Contrary to the way it may make you feel,

this super hot pepper will not kill you. It is rumored that a man burned a hole in

his esophagus from eating the super hot pepper, but that is a myth. However,

it is possible to overdose on capsaicin, the chemical that makes the Carolina

Reaper. Some possible side effects from eating the pepper are “thunderclap

headaches,” nausea, vomiting and a burning sensation. The Carolina Reaper

may sound intimidating, but with the right amount, it can add a wonderful kick

to your dish. Don’t mess with this fiery pepper, but don’t fear it!

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