Imagine a pepper so unbelievably hot that it can literally strip the paint off of the walls. Sounds appetizing, huh? But, for some unknown reason, British chili farmer Gerard Fowler created what is now officially the world's hottest pepper, which can do precisely that.
He combined three different varieties, one of which formerly held the hot title, to create the Naga Viper. Wow, even the name sounds intimidating.
Now to give you an idea of exactly how hot this pepper is, your typical jalapeno (which is still too hot for me) measures 2,500-5,000 on the Scoville scale, the measurement of spicy food. The Naga Viper comes in at 1,359,000.
My question is why???
Do you know what villages in India use the Naga Jolokia, which was formerly the hottest pepper, for? To keep wild elephants away. They smear it on their fences and the pepper is so hot that it literally keeps wild stampeding elephants from coming into their village. They also put it in hand grenades as a nonlethal way to flush out terrorists from their hideouts and to control rioters.
And people voluntarily eat these?!
The farmer tells a newspaper, "It numbs your tongue, then burns all the way down. It can last an hour, and you just don't want to talk to anyone or do anything." He then adds, "It's a marvelous endorphin rush. It makes you feel great." Yes, I often find it exhilarating when my insides are numbed with pain. Seriously, what is wrong with this guy?
For those of you out there that think having your insides burn sounds like a fantastic way to spend an hour, you can sample it in curry at his farm. But you have to sign a waiver agreement first to prove that you are "of sound body and mind."
Would you ever be willing to try this pepper?
Image via Tambako the Jaguar/Flickr