Lots of people like food with a little bit of kick to it, but don’t usually venture into the realms of exceptionally spicy peppers. The heat factor of a pepper is measured by the Scoville Scale.
Jalapenos are a relatively well-known pepper. They typically range between 3,500 and 8,000 Scoville Heat Units, and are unbearably hot to a lot of people. With this in mind, try to imagine a pepper that is more than 200 times hotter than the average jalapeno.
The Trinidad Scorpion Butch T, the world’s hottest pepper, is just that. This pepper measures over 1.5 million Scoville Heat Units, a level of heat on par with police-grade pepper spray. Experts say that at around 800,000 Scovilles, there is a risk of being knocked onto the ground, unable to stand, for hours. Some people have even required hospitalization to recover from the intense effect that these peppers have on them.
Scorpion Butch T growers are always looking for new ways to pack even more punch into their peppers. Some ways they can do this are improving the soil or climate in which they grow their weapons-grade spices. They do not see themselves reaching an upper limit on heat for a long time. To learn more about the Scoville Scale and research into spiciness, visit the Chile Pepper Institute.