If you think you’ve had a hotter chili pepper, you’re wrong. The smallest morsels can flavor a sauce so intensely it’s barely edible. Eating a raw sliver causes watering eyes and a runny nose. An entire chile is an all-out assault on the senses, akin to swigging a cocktail of battery acid and glass shards.
For generations, though, it’s been loved in India’s northeast, eaten as a spice, a cure for stomach troubles and, seemingly paradoxically, a way to fight the crippling summer heat. [Link]
A chili’s spiciness can be scientifically measured by calculating its content of capsaicin, the chemical that gives a pepper its bite, and counting its Scoville units.
And how hot is the bhut jolokia?
As a way of comparison: Classic Tabasco sauce ranges from 2,500 to 5,000 Scoville units. Your basic jalapeño pepper measures anywhere from 2,500 to 8,000. The previous record holder, the Red Savina habanero, was tested at up to 580,000 Scovilles.
The bhut jolokia crushed those contenders, testing at 1,001,304 Scoville units. [Link]
My eyes watered uncontrollably and my nose ran. I felt like I was gargling with acid. My hands quivered. As the minutes passed, the pain grew worse.
I shoveled in yogurt: No relief. I chewed bread: Nothing. My head felt like it was expanding. My ears felt as if hot liquid was draining from them. Picture one of those old Tom and Jerry cartoons, with steam blasting from Tom’s ears as a train whistle blows. That was me.The experts say beer and water do no good at such times. Maybe that’s true, but gulps of very cold beer were the only things that helped me, washing away the pain for a few blessed seconds.[Link]