by Zeak Rice
Peppers, in general, are all rated concerning heat level (spiciness) by a test called “The Scoville Test.” The rating starts at 0 and goes up to 16,000,00 ~million, which is pure capsaicin~ The “Hottest Pepper” title (determined by the Scoville test and recorded by the Guinness Book of World Records) goes to the “Carolina Reaper,” which has a range of 1,569,383 – 2,200,000 Scoville Units.
Capsaicin? What is that? It’s the active ingredient that produces that ‘sensation’ of heat. To make a long story short, it’s the cause of the “fiery or burning” feel when certain peppers are eaten. However, spicy peppers do not cause any actual tissue damage like a real burn would. Capsaicin binds to pain receptors on the tongue, mouth, etc., triggering a chemical response between nerve endings, which sends a signal to the brain.
Carolina reapers, the hottest pepper according to the Scoville test.
OK, back to peppers……
Bell peppers are 0 ~Zero~ SH.U. ~Scoville Units~ thus deemed ‘Sweet’ peppers.
Bell Pepper – 0 SHU
These are ‘some’ of the peppers I am growing this year.
LIPSTICK – 0 SHU A delicious pepper with 4″ L tapered, pimiento-type fruit that is super sweet. This pepper is early and ripens well in the north.
RED CHEESE – 0 SHU A pimiento type that grows 18-24 “T X 18-20 “W. Very early maturing and continuous yields. Peppers hang like ornaments.
The fruit is round, slightly flattened, and has 2-3″ diameter.
TAKANOSUME – 10,000 – 30,000 SHU The plant grows about 20″ Tall and has 2″ Long fruit.
Grows well in a pot. Upright clusters of pods mature from green to red.
CAYENNE – LONG SLIM RED Cayenne Peppers – 30,000 – 50,000 SHU Compact plants 2-3′ Tall.
Fruits are 5-6″ Long and 1/2″ Wide. A go-to heirloom for making hot sauce and dried red pepper flakes
FATALII – 125,000 – 300-000+ SHU
CHOCOLATE The flavor has a hint of citrus. It produces many attractive wrinkled pods which ripen deep dark brown. It is most commonly used in sauces.
YELLOW Golden-orange 3 “L fruits are borne in abundance on sturdy 30” plants. Great for pots.
SCOTCH BONNET – YELLOW 100,000 – 350,000+ SHU A bonnet-shaped pepper that is excellent in containers and for growing in northern climates. The flavors are smoky and fruity. The fruit is 1½ “L X 1 ½ “W.
YELLOW DEVIL’S TONGUE – 125,000 – 325,000 SHU Hot, fruity, citrusy, and prolific.
Grows to 3′ Tall, 2′ Wide with 2-3″ Long by 1″ Wide. It has long and curved fruit to a pointed tip, a compact plant maturing very late in the season.
TRINIDAD SCORPION – 1,200,000 – 2,009,000 SHU Why is it called a ‘scorpion’? It has a ‘comma-like’ shaped tail on the bottom, similar to a scorpion’s tail. Taste-wise, it leans toward the tropical citrus flavor. It works great as a powder because the concentration of the capsicum oil is so high that when you cut the pod open, you will see the oil on the inside like wax.
JAY’S PEACH GHOST SCORPION – 700,000 ~ 900,000+SHU This super-hot creation was done by Pennyslvanian grower Jay Weaver, who bred the red ‘Ghost’ pepper and a Trinidad Scorpion.
A peach-colored exterior, a pretty rare pepper to have, and you won’t regret growing this one in your garden!
The ‘Ghost’ pepper OR Bhut Jolokia took the record for the world’s hottest pepper in 2007. The fruit starts off with a light lime-green color and ends up a gorgeous peach shade.
CAROLINA REAPER – 2.2 Million+ SHU This is the one that holds the current world record!
Why “reaper”? Similar to the “Scorpion,” this pepper has a moon-shaped or scythe-shaped tail. A scythe was used in reaping grains such as wheat, barley, etc. Hence, it was named “Reaper .” It has a fruity flavor (if you can concentrate on its flavor. Good luck!)