This month at The Spice People, I’m excited to introduce to you our all-new range of chillies. But these guys aren’t just any chillies, these are known to be the hottest chillies our globe has to offer and boy, are they ever! If you’re a hot-headed chilli fiend, these are the new spice-pantry-staple for you and will help to bring an extra zing to so many dishes. Or, perhaps you’ve never found yourself dabbling much in the world of chillies and you’re looking for a new adventure. Either way, I’m going to introduce you to our new red-hot friends and share with you a few ways to use them in some delicious, zesty recipes.
First up is the Carolina Reaper. With a very fitting title, this bad boy is the number-one hottest chilli in the world with a heat rating of 2,200,000 Scoville heat units (SHU) – for those playing at home that are unfamiliar with this unit of measurement, jalapeno or chipotle chilli only has a SHU of 10,000 each.
This chilli may boast a multi-million-unit heat rating, but it too has a beautifully delicate fruity sweetness to it beneath its fiery exterior. Some have also noted the subtle hints on cinnamon and even chocolate. As you’ll recognise from our flavour profiling, chillies are not too dissimilar to wine; each has their own totally unique flavour and aromatic notes and each can be paired with different foods and ingredients to enhance their taste.
The Reaper is short and plump in shape with a thin branch at the base known as the ‘scorpion’s tail’ due to its resemblance in shape, but the stinging punch it packs.
So, how does one celebrate this most unique and special of chillies? It can be used dried as so or rehydrated simply by steeping it in boiling water for 20 minutes. When it comes to chillies, the seeds inside are what really brings the heat, so you can use them with or without depending on how adventurous you’re feeling. Add them to any soup, stew, salsa or sauce to add a big kick, or give my Very-Hot Sweet Potato Chilli a try. Combined with our Mexican Burrito/Fajita Spice Mix, you get all the wonderful fruity flavours of the Carolina Reaper as well as the heat that combines so perfectly with the sweet potato and black beans, making it the most comforting dish.
Number two on the World’s Hottest Pepper ranking is the Trinidad Scorpion. Much like its namesake, this pepper really packs a sting with a SHU of between 1,500,000 and 2,009,231.
This pepper is a member of the Chinese Capsicum family which is related to the bonnet species of chillies. The shape of the Trinidad strongly resembles its cousin the Scotch Bonnet, but with a much heavier hit of heat, and for those that know the wrath of the Scotch Bonnet, you can only imagine what its much-hotter family member will be like!
Like the Carolina Reaper, the Trinidad can be used dried or rehydrated, whole, chopped, or blended to add heat to many a meal, sauce, or condiment. A favourite way to use it, however, is in my Super-Hot Trinidad Scorpion Pepper Pulled Beef Tacos. This recipe for next-level tacos takes the heat of the Trinidad Scorpion combined with the sweet, Mexican flavours of our Taco Spice Mix and adds it to the succulent, tender, falling-apart beef. This recipe has big impact for very minimal effort and will give your Mexican Mondays or Taco Tuesdays a whole new flavour!
Also known as Bhut Jolokia, the Ghost Chilli Pepper lands a number-three spot in the World’s Hottest Chillies scale with a SHU rating of a whopping 1,041,427 – which for reference, is about five times hotter than the habanero. This hybrid pepper originated in India’s northeast and its heat is so extreme it was even used sometimes by farmers to keep wild elephants away.
This pepper is amazing in bean, rice and curry dishes to celebrate its roots, but a favourite fusion recipe of mine is my Super-Hot-n-Smoky Ghost Pepper Chicken Wings. This East-meets-West take on wings combines the fruity heat of the Ghost Pepper with the smoky flavours of our Memphis BBQ Rub to create finger-lickin’-good wings! Super-smoky, super-spicy, and oh-so delicious.
A few hot tips when it comes to using these super-hot guys
– Make sure to wear gloves when preparing them – there’s nothing worse than the burn of a pepper finger in the eye or even seeped into skin.
– If you’ve found your eyes were a little braver than your tastebuds and you’ve taken on more than you can handle – head for milk, not water! The water will keep the burn going, whilst the milk is the perfect cooling extinguisher.
– Use a bit at a time. Add some, taste, then add some more. This saves you going overboard and potentially making an inedible meal.
– Serve these above recipes with fresh salads like cooling lettuce, cucumber and mint, or zesty, refreshing flavours like pineapple and mango – the perfect accompaniment to put that fire out.
These chillies are also not only super-hot in taste, but they actually contain a myriad of health benefits like anti-inflammatory properties, immune-boosting qualities, and can even help with kick-starting your metabolism for weight loss.
There you have it! The three hottest chillies on the planet. Our range of Super-Hot Chillies are picked at their ripest and dried to lock in maximum flavour and heat. Like many peppers, this is once they have turned a deep, rich red hue. Through their transition from green, to orange, to red, their flavour and heat will intensify, so harvesting them in their ruby-ripe phase showcases all that they have to offer in the best light.
The humble chilli may be small in size, but its impact is a big one!
Are you up for the challenge?