Physicist Wilbur Scoville
Professor Wilbur Scoville

The Chili Heat if we may call it is measured in the Scoville scale; named after American Physicist Wilbur Scoville who first devised the method in 1912. The SHU’s or Scoville Heat Units simply try to measure the amount of capsaicin present in the chili. Capsaicin is chemical compound (8-methyl-N-vanillyl-6-nonenamide) which is the prime cause for the burning taste of the chilies

Now since you’ve got the basic idea behind the scale let’s have a look at the Hottest Chillies in the world.

 

#10 Rocoto

Akathe tree chili

TypeNatural

The Rocoto is found mainly in Central and South America. They may measure up to 250,000 in Scoville units. It is unique from other peppers in its ability to withstand low temperatures.

 

#9 Datil/Fatali

TypeNatural

The natural occurring American Datil pepper or its African counterpart Fatali may score up to 300,000 on the Scoville scale. Along with their heat, Datils are known for their fruity flavor.

 

#8 Habanero and Scotch Bonnet Pepper

TypeNatural

The Habanero is naturally occurring pepper very popular in the Spanish and Mexican culture. Habaneros may score up to 350,000 on the Scoville scale. Its largest produce nowadays comes from Yucatan peninsula in Mexico.

Scotch Bonnet Pepper

AkaBall of Fire

TypeNatural

Scotch Bonnet derives its name from its resemblance to the 19 century Scottish bonnets or Tam caps. It’s stouter shape and slight sweeter flavor differentiates it from its close relative Habanero. The Scotch Bonnet is widely consumed and is largely found in Caribbean islands. Like the Habanero it may score up to 350,000 on the Scoville scale.

 

#7 Adjuma

AkaAji umba

TypeNatural

Originally from Suriname in South America the Adijuma are small yellow and red bell peppers. They may rate up to 500,000 SHU’s and are often confused with Madame Jeanette; a less hotter but more flavorsome pepper.

 

#6 The Red Savina Habanero

TypeBred

The Red Savina was bred by Frank Garcia of Walnut, California. It rated close to 600,000 SHU units and was the Guinness Record holder from 1994 – 2006.

 

#5 Bhut Jolokia

AkaGhost Pepper, Red Naga

TypeNatural

The Bhut Jolokia is endemic to the north eastern states of Assam, Nagaland and Manipur in India. In 2007 it was recognized by the Guiness Book of World Records as the hottest chilli pepper in the world. A title it lost to the infinite pepper in 2011. The pepper has recorded Scoville ratings of over 1 million.

 

#4 Infinity Chili

Infinity Chili
Nick-Wood-with-his-infinity chilli-image from guardian.co.uk

TypeCrossbreed

The Infinity chili was discovered by accident in the greenhouse of Nick Woods. “I didn’t set out to grow it; it’s really easy for chilies to crossbreed in a greenhouse, one day I just saw this new chili plant growing.” Grown by Mr. Woods, it measured up to about 1,170,000 on the Scoville scale. It briefly held the Guinness Record in February 2011.

 

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