December 6, 2019, - A brand of hot chili sauce Huy Fong Sriracha ( the most popular biggest seller and my favorite) shipped from the United States has been recalled from countries across Europe due to a risk of the bottles exploding.  The implicated Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce by Huy Fong Foods has a best-before date of March 2021, batch code H9TMKA 44 33, and comes in a pack size of 740 ml. (25 oz.)  Tuong Ot Sriracha brand hot chili sauce is produced by Huy Fong Foods Inc. based in California.  It does not affect sales nor product safety in the US.

An alert was prompted by a consumer complaint in Ireland
There is a risk the contents may explode once the bottle is opened.  This poses a risk of hot chili sauce irritating eyes or skin, according to the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI).

EDITORS NOTE: There was additional risk of gas poisoning and explosion since the person reporting it downed the hot sauce with about a gallon of warm beer. The FSAI did evacuate the small town due to the possibility of a severe fart explosion from the beer and Chili combo… 

As had happened twenty years ago when Eagan O’Reilly-O’Dork made some home brew Chili with beans, hot Sauce and drank seven or eight liters of warm beer with wings drowned in the sauce. The village of Fartworth on Glevein was uninhabitable for almost a decade.  Years later, survivors reported the town still had a pungent air about it…

The chili sauce came from the United States, via the Netherlands, and was distributed to Austria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Poland, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.  
French officials said fermentation has occurred in the bottle making its consumption dangerous.  People who bought the product are asked not to consume it and to bring the bottle back to the point of sale or destroy it.

So fermentation can create some excitement in the kitchen.  I have ( not joking) experienced it with certain brands of KIM-CHI or Korean Cabbage in Hot Sauce when I popped the bottle it just went splats all over the place. Now I just crack the top with two layers of paper towel over it and  leave it in the sink and transfer the contents to a Rubbermaid container.


The Scoville heat scale measures how spicy a hot pepper might be as well as anything made from chili peppers such as hot sauce.  The scale is named after Wilbur Scoville, who developed the test in 1912 we have no idea how long he lived though

Our Produce Director Rich Conger has shared this chart with us measuring the heat of various peppers, some of which you can find in our Produce department.  The Scoville Heat Scale is especially useful for consumers when deciding how much hot pepper to use in a given recipe.  The scale allows consumers to select spicier (hotter) peppers to their personal preference.  Green peppers are at the bottom of the scale (no heat) while the hottest pepper you can buy are the Carolina Reaper peppers, and a few new nuclear hybrids such as the Ghost, the Scorpion, and Pepper X 

Which some claim was invented by Mr. Mestopheles himself and he gave the recipe to The Last Dab hot sauce developed by Puckerbutt Pepper Company founder of Smokin' Ed Currie.   Pepper X is combined with distilled vinegar, ginger root, turmeric, coriander, cumin and dry mustard in the sauce. It still even in sauce is to be reckoned with. 


  • If stuffed peppers are on the menu for dinner, you’re most likely reaching for bell peppers.  Zero heat for a delicious meal. 
  • Italian Long Hot Peppers are slightly spicier but still tame for those not accustomed to spicy foods.  Roast these peppers in olive oil and garlic, adding them to chicken, seafood or salad dishes. 
  • Spice up your life with Jalopena’s   They are spicy but not TOO spicy.  Remove th white pith and seeds, cook and they go spicy but sweet. Add slices to your guacamole, in a bowl of chili or top tacos for a kick. 
  • We don’t suggest taking a bite out of a Ghost Pepper unless you’re feeling extremely brave and you have paid health insurance and a Gastroentonologist handy.   
  • But there are ways to add this pepper to dishes with minimal pain.  Combine a blended ghost pepper with sea salt to make Chili Salt.  It’s a 5 minute recipe that allows you to add some heat to your dish without breaking a sweat while you dig in.  
  • Another option is adding a ghost pepper to pizza sauce for a Roasted Vegetable Pizza with Ghost Pepper Sauce.
  • We don’t advise ever trying Pure Capsaicin but you can add some Tabasco sauce to a dish instead.  Pure Capsaicin is extracted and used to spice the hot sauce.  Use Tabasco in a Classic Eggs Benedict recipe for breakfast or add a small amount for flavor on dishes from scrambled eggs to mac and cheese. 


The cayenne pepper is a type of Capsicum annuum. It is usually a moderately hot chili pepper used to flavor dishes. Cayenne peppers are a group of tapering, 10 to 25 cm long, generally skinny, mostly red-colored peppers, often with a curved tip and somewhat rippled skin, which hang from the bush as opposed to growing upright. Most varieties are generally rated at 30,000 to 50,000 Scoville units.

The fruits are generally dried and ground to make the powdered spice of the same name, although cayenne powder may be a blend of different types of peppers, quite often not containing cayenne peppers, and may or may not contain the seeds.  Cayenne is used in cooking spicy dishes either as a powder or in its whole form. It is also used as a herbal supplement.

The word ‘ cayenne’ is thought to be a corruption of the word quiínia of the Old Tupi language once spoken in Brazil, which means pepper.. It is probable that the place Cayenne in French Guiana was named after the peppers, not vice ersa, although it is commonly claimed that the pepper was named after the city. Nicholas Culpepper  for example, uses the word 'cayenne pepper' in 1652, and the city was only renamed as such in 1777. It also is possibly named for the Cayenne River.

The cayenne pepper is a type of Capsicum annuum, as are bell peppers, jalapeños, pimientos, and many others. The genus Capsicum is in the nightshade family, (Solanaceae). Cayenne peppers are often said to belong to the frutescens variety, but frutescens peppers are now defined as peppers which have fruit which grow upright on the bush (such as tabasco peppers), thus what is known in English as cayenne peppers are by definition not frutescens.

In the 19th century, modern cayenne peppers were classified as C. longum, this name was later synonymised with C. frutescens. Cayenne powder, however, has generally been made from the bird’s eye peppers, in the 19th century classified as C. minimum.

Cayenne peppers are long, tapering, 10 to 25 cm long, generally skinny, mostly red colored peppers, often with a curved tip and somewhat rippled skin, which hang from the bush as opposed to growing upright. There are many specific cultivars, such as

  • Cow-horn
  • Cayenne Sweet
  • Cayenne Buist’s Yellow
  • Golden Cayenne
  • Cayenne Carolina
  • Cayenne Indonesian
  • Joe’s Long
  • Cayenne Large Red Thick
  • Cayenne Long Thick Red
  • Ring of Fire
  • Cayenne Passion
  • Cayenne Thomas Jefferson
  • Cayenne Iberian
  • Cayenne Turkish
  • Egyptian Cayenne
  • Cayenne Violet
  • Numex Las Cruces Cayenne
  • Although most modern cayenne peppers are colored red, yellow and purple varieties exist, and in the 19th century yellow varieties were common. Most types are moderately hot, although a number of mild variants exist. Most varieties are generally rated at 30,000 to 50,000 Scoville units, although some are rated at 20,000 or less.

Cayenne powder may be a blend of different types of peppers.  Cayenne powder is distinguished from other chili powder, as it is made from cayenne peppers only, whereas chili powder is generally a mixture of multiple varieties of chili pepper, and may include other spices. It is used in its fresh form, or as dried powder on seafood, all types of egg dishes (deviled eggs, omelettes, soufflés), meats and stews, casseroles, cheese dishes, hot sauces, and curries.



Chili peppers have been a part of the human diet in the world since at least 7500 BC. There is archaeological evidence at sites located in southwestern Ecuador that chili peppers were domesticated more than 6000 years ago, and is one of the first cultivated crops in the Central and South Americas that is self-pollinating.

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Christopher Columbus was one of the first Europeans to encounter them in the Caribbean, and called them "peppers" because they, like black and white pepper of the Piper genus known in Europe, have a spicy hot taste unlike other foodstuffs. 

Upon their introduction into Europe chilis were grown as botanical curiosities in the gardens of Spanish and Portuguese monasteries. But the monks experimented with the chilis' culinary potential and discovered that their pungency offered a substitute for black peppercorns, which at the time were so costly that they were used as legal currency in some countries.

Chilies were cultivated around the globe after Columbus. Diego Álvarez Chanca, a physician on Columbus' second voyage to the West Indies in 1493, brought the first chili peppers to Spain, and first wrote about their medicinal effects in 1494.

From Mexico, at the time the Spanish colony that controlled commerce with Asia, chili peppers spread rapidly into the Philippines and then to India, China, Indonesia, Korea and Japan. They were incorporated into the local cuisines.  Above: Scottish Bonnets, Serrano, and Jalopena, a chili menage of the most commonly used.

The Jalopena ( green right) is the most common pepper used due probably to availability.  When it comes to peppers, being beautiful and popular does not make one hot. To meet the demand, Jalapeño breeding has promoted varieties that are pretty, easy to ship and easier to grow in cooler climates.  Originally,  they used to be grown mostly in the high deserts of New Mexico, Arizona, and Northern Chihuahua and Sonora, Mexico. 

Hot, dry climates promote the production of capsaicin, the chemical that makes a hot pepper hot. Now, some varieties can be grown in wetter, cooler climates that don’t create enough heat for a super spicy chile pepper. If you like hot , leave the seeds and the pith in when you cut them.

Most Indian Restaurants use predominantly Long thin green cayenne or finger chillies, they have a good taste and high heat level and can be added chopped, sliced or whole as required. In most Indian food, Chili peppers gives the curry its heat and can be used in whole fresh form, chili powder, whole or crushed dried chilies or as chili sauce or paste.  

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In Jamaican and some other Caribbean  dishes the Scottish Bonnet on the left  is the key to “Jerk Chicken”.  Related and more like a brother to the Habanero than a cousin would be.

As well as heat, chilies can add some subtle dimensions of flavor which can be dramatically different from one chili to the next and from one intestine to another.  

Habanero and the similar and usually swapped with Scottish Bonnet chilies have a beautiful buttery, oaky and vanilla tones but are so hot that most people can’t really take them as a snack,  here is the solution.  Sliced in half, then de-pithed and de-seeded, cooked they are tolerable by western standards, undercook and you need a fire extinguisher.  

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In Thai food chili's are life itself.  Nam phrik are Thai chili pastes, similar to the Indonesian and Malaysian sambals. Each region has its own special versions. 

The wording”Nam phrik” is used by Thais to describe any paste containing chilies used for dipping. “Dum phrik” is used to describe a westerner who eats the paste raw.... like the raw seed version here which is basically the local oil cooked and melded with the seeds.  

NOTE: This stuff is not for beginners, Klingons from another world maybe, not humans.  You sometimes see dishes like this in some LAO or THAI restaurants and be very careful.  
This is a dipping sauce similar to an acid-bath.

This is the Bible of Chili’s and has one of the best Chili charts with pictures and explanations of what you need to know before the fire department comes to your home and you were accused of trying to shut your husband or wife up once and for all.  A really inclusive and well done website. 


The Jamaicans, and several other Caribbean islands do heat with the Scotch Bonnet, a cute little pepper (probably one of the prettiest) that can remove your esophagus while you are attempting to put the fire out with a Jamaican Red Stripe Beer.  But they cook it...

The clue is the puddle on the floor where it ate a hole straight down your body where your tongue used to be.  You won't be laughing after one of these. See the page on Chilis to see where they are in the Chili world.  Any thing hotter could do really do severe damage, notice I said damage, not discomfort.

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Scotch Bonnets can cause extreme pain if they come in contact with your eyes. Be sure to wear protective latex gloves, glasses, even a mask while handling the chiles and the jerk paste if you are handling a decent amount, like at our Jamaican Festival and dont rub your eyes.  

I am dead serious about this. I usually cut the Bonnet stem and top off, cut into fours, discard any and all seeds or membranes, rinse the pieces and dice or mince wearing surgical gloves. Many times if one or two for a dish, I will do it under a running faucet. 

For the two and a half years I lived and worked in Jamaica developing a rental vehicle business for tourists, visiting Montego Bay arriving by plane or those on Cruise ships.  We referred many visitors to the "House on the Hill" in Montego Bay for the nice local luncheon they served . 

Unfortunately, some guests did not pay attention to the warning from the middle school servers that that beautiful yellow, orange, green or red Scottish Bonnet pepper was for garnish. There was always someone from NY who grew up on those hot Italian "finger peppers" who thought he could tackle an uncooked Scottish Bonnet.   We had the visitors following a map in their dune buggies to arrive at the location about 12:30 for a luncheon.   

That was a mistake.  Repeated warnings and speeches did not work for the guests not to eat them nor the owner for putting them out,  till I cancelled trips to the mountain retreat.   The owner was upset, but he got the message.  He came to my office and we had a conversation and a compromise.  He hung the Habaneros on strings in clumps for decorations and small signs indicating not to eat them but he had sauce for sale.  Which when mixed with other ingredients  pith removed and seeds pitched made a hot but not lethal sauce. 

I solved the problem by letting him make a sauce of the Scottish Bonnets by toning them down with de-pithing, de-seeding, cooking, adding water, vinegar, mustard and oil.  We made a center piece like a tree with the bonnets tied real tight to little branches, quite pretty, and a sizable sign, not to eat the fruit, use the sauce.  He sold a lot of sauce and thanked me everyday as he made money with the sauce and no hospital runs. He made nothing but grief with his way.

The hospital in Montego Bay knew how to handle it when some jerk did not pay attention.  With a massive milkshake of milk and vanilla Ice cream to stop the tissue burning and for some blisters and the eventual stomach distress.   Sometimes a paste of baking soda might slow the tissue damage down followed by the garden hose flush which might cool things down if you don’t drown.  Milk is still the best.  No milk, find a cow and there are four spigots under the tail.  Four idiots can be saved at a time.

I am not out to prove my manhood by eating those hot peppers straight as I have seen some Neanderthals try to do.    Peppers like Habaneros can and do vary in Scoville units as much as one Habanero can be twice a strong as another. In some cases 70,000 Scoville difference.  Today the Habaneros are at the bottom of the chain as to killer potential, but as you have read, someone is always out to raise to greatness and claim to breed the worlds hottest pepper. 

This is why I recommend you wear gloves, wear glasses, and Do Not Touch your eyes while handling them. If you cannot handle a Habanero something ten to fifteen times stronger will harm you.  Remember in hero-land where all the drunk wing eaters go, they don’t count the dead ones…

Again, you cut off the tops, half or quarter them, dump the seeds under running water, remove the membrane and rinse, dice or mince.  You cook early with them. The more raw they are, the more powerful.  Cooking mellows them.  If you dump the seeds in your garbage disposal let the water run and I throw coffee grinds or ice cubes to flush the system.

Do not go overboard. In this recipe we are using it as a marinade. They would be putting them in a blender or crusher ( a Flat roc and a round rock and basting with it in Jamaica.  If I slow cook it in the oven, I baste only once or twice.   No civilians were injured killed or maimed while basting with cooked Habaneros. In a worst case scenario you could put a taxi meter in your bathroom for those claiming to be unaffected by hot peppers.


THE GHOST PEPPER - 2007-2011

Recently, in the first decade of the 21st century, the Chili war has escalated to new highs in popularity with a few new chili’s to be added to the Bi-annual Esophagus Onslaught.  (BEO)  The Ghost Pepper (Bhot Jolokia) aka ghost pepper, ghost chili pepper, red naga chili  and the ghost chili is an interspecific hybrid first cultivated in the Indian states of Assam and Nagaland. It grows in the Indian states of Assam, Nagaland and Manipur and exported.   

Capsicum.Chinense, commonly known as the “ Bonnet pepper”  is a species of chili pepper native to the Americas. 
Capsicum.Chinense varieties are well known for their exceptional heat and unique flavors.  The hottest peppers in the world are members of this species, with Scoville Heat Unit scores of over 1.5 million.   Some taxonomists consider them to be part of the species Capsicum.Annuum, and they are a member of the Capsicum.Annuum complex. 

Capsicum.Annuum and Capsicum.Chinense pepper plants can generally be identified by the number of flowers or fruit per node.  

However—one for Capsicum.Annuum and two to five for Capsicum.Chinense, though this method is not always correct.  The two species can also hybridize and generate inter-specific hybrids.  It is believed that Capsicum.Frutescens is the ancestor to the species.  

It is this interbreeding process and experimentation by breeders that is producing monster Chili’s with Scoville temps as high as 3 million plus and sooner or later someone will pay the price.  Few things can stop the damage besides drowning.  The newest are far more dangerous than pepper spray and the Indian arm forces currently are using it in crowd control as are others.

There was initially some confusion and disagreement about whether the Bhot pepper was a Capsicum.Frutescens or a Capsicum.Chinense pepper, but DNA tests showed it to be an interspecies hybrid, mostly with some C
apsicum.Frutescens genes. 


Guinness World Records

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In 2007  
Certified that the Ghost Pepper (Bhot Jolokia) was the world’s hottest chili pepper, 400 times hotter than Tabasco sauce.

In 2009, India’s DRDO
Announced plans to use the peppers in hand grenades, as a non lethal way to flush out "terrorists" from their hideouts and to control rioters. It will also be developed into pepper spray as a self-defense product.  R. B. Srivastava, the director of the Life Sciences Department at the New Delhi headquarters of India’s Defense Research and Development Organization said bhut jolokia-based aerosol sprays could be used as a “ afety device", and "civil variants" of chili grenades could be used to control and disperse mobs.
UPDATE  1,000 people survived ? Copenhagen’s Chili Klaus Event
Copenhagen’s Chili Klaus organized an event on June 5, 2014 at which 1,000 people ate the notorious Ghost Chili (bhutjolokia), at around 1,000,000 heat units on the Scoville scale, one of THE hottest chili peppers known to man.  

And the results were painful to say the least.  And not even liquid could douse the heat. As our friends at Digg have noted: ‘Don’t worry, milk was provided. Which also led to a lot of people vomiting up spicy milk.   

These volunteers watched as the chilis were trotted out in a locked, fire-engine red case. Then, with communion hands, they received the thumb-sized red pepper wrapped in sealed plastic bags. 

Some smelled it, others ventured a lick, most looked around with excited trepidation. Then, at the strike of the church bell, they simultaneously inhaled the little devil and waited.  How utterly torturous is that bite? 

It's enough to make grown men and women call out in pain, weep openly, crouch down in the fetal position, and vomit in public.  So, you know, not that hot, way beyond hot and for some dangerous.  I have no frickin idea why someone would sponsor this type of event and why some people were stupid enough to participate.



The Trinidad Moruga Scorpion (Capsicum chinense) is native to the district of Moruga in Trinidad and Tobago. On February 13, 2012 the New Mexico State University's Chile Pepper Institute identified the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion as the hottest chili of the world, with a mean heat of more than 1.2 million Scoville Heat Units and individual plants capable of heat of more than 2 million Scoville Heat Units.

Paul Bosland, a chili pepper expert and director of the Chile Pepper Institute, said that, "You take a bite. It doesn't seem so bad, and then it builds and it builds and it builds. So it is quite nasty.

Aside from the heat, the Trinidad Scorpion Moruga has a tender fruit-like flavor, which makes it a sweet-hot combination. The pepper can be grown from seeds in most parts of the world. 

In North America, the growing season varies regionally from the last spring hard frost to the first fall hard frost. Freezing weather ends the growing season and kills the plant but otherwise they are perennials which grow all year, slowing in colder weather.  Do not cut without eye protection and gloves.

WARNING:  Ghost peppers range from 855,000 to 1,041,427 Scoville heat units (SHU) on the pepper scale.  Moruga Scorpion peppers range from 1,200,000 SHU to 2,000,000 SHU. So that makes two things true: The hottest Ghost pepper will always be milder than the mildest Trinidad Moruga Scorpion.


WINNER - 2013’s  

On December 26, 2013 the Guinness World Records declared the Carolina Reaper the world’s hottest pepper, dethroning the short lived Trinidad Moruga Scorpion.  The Carolina Reaper is a hybrid chili pepper of the Capsicum chinense species, originally called the "HP22B", bred by cultivator Ed Currie, who runs PuckerButt Pepper Company in Rock Hill, South Carolina. 

The Carolina Reaper was rated as the world’s hottest chili pepper by Guinness World Records according to 2012 tests,averaging 1,569,300 SHU on the Scoville scale with peak levels of over 2,200,000 SHU. 

The previous record-holder was the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion. The cost to Currie of obtaining the evidence to claim the Guinness record was US $12,000.

From PuckerButt: This is the World Record Hottest Chili, Smokin' Ed's Carolina Reaper pepper, formerly known as HP22B. It is beautiful with a bright red rough surface and a long stinger. 

But don’t let looks fool you! This pepper got its name for a reason. If you are stupid enough to eat this pepper whole, you may wish to enter the doors of death willingly. Be very, very careful using this pepper. Those who don’t fear the Reaper are fools.  Do not cut without eye protection, a face mask, and gloves.

Again, the Carolina Reaper, originally named the HP22B, is a cultivar of the Capsicum chinense plant. The pepper is red and gnarled, with a small pointed tail. In 2013, Guinness World Records dubbed it the hottest chili in the world, surpassing the previous record holder, the Trinidad Scorpion “Butch T”... ... ...  But something is brewing on the horizon..



CLAIM:  As of September 2017, the hottest chili pepper known is PEPPER X  having a Scoville scale of 3.18 million units.  Pepper X is the temporary name for a Capsicum chili pepper bred by Ed Currie, creator of the Carolina Reaper. Pepper X resulted from multiple cross breedings which produced an exceptionally high content of capsaicin in the locules of the pepper.  

Selection of a new name depends on whether the taster lives or not.  It is further rumored that the owner of Tesla and Space-X Elon Musk was testing the Pepper X in liquid form as a new propellant for his neat Cars and Space ships...

Pepper X was made into a sauce for the YouTube series Hot Ones.  Currie stated that it is “ two times as hot as the Carolina Reaper” which would make it the hottest pepper in the world with a Scoville scale of 3.18 million units, but this is unconfirmed by the Guinness World Records or the mortician who buried the trial team.  The Dr. said not enough meat on the bones to determine cause, they were burnt crispy.

The Pepper X is the pepper ingredient of 'The Last Dab'.  It was announced to replace Blair’s Mega Death Sauce as the hottest sauce in the lineup for Season 4.  As of September 14, 2017, the sauce is available for sale. Pepper X was first shown on the First We Feast channel on September 19, 2017, in the video titled Everything You Need to Know About The Last Dab, the Hottest Sauce on Hot Ones.

Pepper X is safe for consumption in The Last Dab hot sauce by Puckerbutt Pepper Company. The first 1,000 bottles of hot sauce sold out in two minutes but is available for pre-order on Heatonist.

Pepper X is set to take the crown for the world’s hottest pepper, dethroning the official record holder the Carolina Reaper.   

Pepper X (pictured) clocked in at a whopping 3.18 million Scoville heat units and has been developed over 10 years +3   For reference, Jalapeno’s are a mild 10,000 to 20,000 Scoville units. 

Scoville units measure capsaicin, the chemical that triggers spicy sensation. 

Because of this, Pepper X is safe for consumption in the The Last Dab hot sauce developed by Puckerbutt Pepper Company founder of Smokin' Ed Currie.   Pepper X is combined with distilled vinegar, ginger root, turmeric, coriander, cumin and dry mustard in the sauce.

Again, the first 1,000 bottles of hot sauce sold out in two minutes but it is available on pre-order.  Deliveries were expected as soon as the bodies were removed...  Currie announced the new pepper at Chelsea Market in New York during a filming of a “ First We Feast” “ Then you die”  YouTube episode.


‘It’s twice as hot as the Reaper at 1.6 million, so this is a dangerous pepper.’  It’s demented father,  Mr. Currie says the Dragon’s Breath chili is hotter than the Reaper but less so than Pepper X.  It comes in at a mild 2.48 Scoville units and is potentially lethal. According to LiveScience, eating a pepper this hot can send your immune system into overdrive and trick your body into thinking it is experience real, extreme heat and possible brain damage.  Some claim those trying this were brain-damaged anyway.

For the same reason, Pepper X should not be consumed alone.  The hot sauce is described as:  'More than simple mouth burn, Pepper X singes your soul. Starting with a pleasant burn in the mouth, the heat passes quickly, lulling you into a false confidence.  'You take another bite, enjoying the mustard and spice flavors. This would be great on jerk chicken, or Indian food!   But then, WHAM! All of a sudden your skin goes cold and your stomach goes hot, and you realize the power of X.’  Currie submitted the evidence that Pepper X is the world’s hottest pepper and said he expects to hear back in November as soon as some of the testers  get released from the hospital. 

😋  Unconfirmed Note: It was reported on the Redneck One Channel that hot pepper enthusiast Hiram Bigassman ate one of these X’s raw.  One fart from Hiram because of this pepper set fire to a thousand acres of his prime swampland, killing everything in sight. Raccoons, alligators, snakes, squirrels, birds, and the only survivor was his prize snapping turtle named Dorfagonah.  

You’ll remember Dorfagonah as he appeared in many movies starring Godzilla.  He played Varan.  ( see pic)  He received an Enema Award for his part in the movie by the Japanese Wasabi Association.   

Update:  Hiram was taken to the hospital for severe burns to his butt.  The oxygen in the room combined with X residue and the laser the doctor used lit off and burnt the whole hospital down. The doctors advised him to kick back a notch and only use Crystal Sauce if he survives.


  • I joke a lot about peppers, I love and use them in my cooking within common sense and reason.  So I’ll get serious, they can inflict pain and skin damage. After touching or handling hot peppers always remember to wash your hands with a product containing some acidity or a touch of lime or lemon juice. Some of these peppers are smoking hot and if not properly handled will temporarily damage skin tissue.  
  • When sharing your hot peppers with others, please let them know to use with caution.  I have witnessed fools who took this advice for granted and really didn’t know what they were getting into, crying like babies in the hospital with severe burns.  
  • Others were negligent and didn’t wash and rubbed their eyes.  Took three days of hospital care and flushing to heal. The clinic bill brought further tears to the idiot since this was self inflicted and most insurances question stupidity as a disease.  I think it runs in some families. It can and will burn eye tissue and cause severe problems requiring professional help.


  • Do not drink beer. Water won’t help either. Capsaicin, the chemical that makes a hot pepper hot, doesn’t dissolve in water, so even ice water won’t help remove the heat.    
  • Your best bet, Get milk, No milk, find a cow you can climb under,  pull on one of the four available nozzles!  Because capsaicin is fat-soluble, a compound in milk can actually pull the capsaicin off your tongue and relieve some of the burn.  
  • Another option:  Eat bread or rice to absorb the heat. Then spit it out. Cucumbers can also have a cooling effect.
  • If you are feeling brave you could try eating another pepper in small amounts so as to build up a resistance to capsaicin by eating more milder chile peppers. With a slow process you get the added high of a capsaicin-triggered endorphin release.  Before you know it, you might be addicted to the hot little things and clearing buildings with your capsaicin farts
  • Hot Chilis are safe - Experiments have been conducted squirting chili oils directly onto the stomach lining and no adverse effects were seen. The pain of hotness is entirely a nerve signaling thing and is not a real pain from damage of any kind. 
  • Birds are immune and do not have appropriate receptors and are immune to chilis so they eat them and spread their seeds efficiently.  So till you grow feathers and can fly,  avoid them.
  • Use in your bird-feeder - The upshot of this is you can treat the seed in your bird feeder with chilis so the squirrels can’t eat it, but it doesn’t bother the birds at all.  When you clean the peppers for cooking and you de-seed them, throw the seeds into your bird mix... no squirrels...   Floridians love bird feeders but squirrels are called “tree rats”.
  • Tolerance - For the uninitiated a modest amount of chili pepper causes unpleasant pain when consumed and will mask the flavors of the dish it is included in. Repeated exposure, however, causes the chili specific nerve receptors to become much less sensitive to chili heat. 
  • After-burner - If you notice stinging at your nether orifice a day or so after eating hot chilis you are not eating enough hot chilis. The digestion adjusts and this problem goes away. 
  • Vitamins - Hot red chilis are extremely high in vitamin A, but have good doses of vitamin C as well as folic acid, potassium and antioxidants. They are low sodium and very low carbs. 
  • Diabetes - The capsaicin (the hot stuff) in chili peppers have been shown effective in controlling blood glucose levels in persons suffering from type-II diabetes, with the effect still evident in fasting levels in the morning. 
  • Endorphin Rush - Chilis have been found to provide many people with an “ Endorphin rush” similar to that achieved by joggers but with a lot less effort, risk and damage to the joints 
  • Sweating and Digestion - Hot chilis are very popular in practically all tropical areas because they induce sweating which cools the body. They are also a digestive stimulant which helps a lot in hot weather
  • Cooking Helps - The heat level of fresh chillies is reduced somewhat with the length of cooking so add them earlier if you like it milder and later if you prefer it hotter.  Always add chili in whatever form a little at a time, you can always add some more if needed but you can’t take it out once you have overdone it.
  • Speed Chills - Chili powder will permeate the rest of the sauce most readily.  It blends and adds heat real fast. If you finely chop fresh chillies, you will need to cook them for a while to add the heat to the sauce.  Powder is fast, cooking is slower but more flavorful to some. I slow cook.
  • Whole and sliced chillies will add their heat mainly when eaten directly. Adding chili powder to a finished dish is not a good way to add heat as the spices need to be worked in to the dish which is difficult once served. 


Anaheim* Very mild. Six to eight inches in size and deep, shiny green. Often stuffed or added to salsas.

Ancho: Dried or fresh poblano pepper. Dried anchos are flat, wrinkled, and heart shaped. They range in color from very dark red to almost black. Anchos are mild to moderately hot and often soaked and ground for use in sauces.

Cayenne:  From four to twelve inches in length. Deep green, yellow, orange, or red. Long, skinny, and wrinkled in appearance. Hot in taste.

Cherry*  Round and red like a cherry. Sold fresh or pickled in jars, these peppers range from mild to moderately hot.

 Habanero*   AKA Scotch Bonnet:  Popular and commonly found, typically yellow-orange but they can be green, red, yellow or orange. These peppers are lantern shaped and typically about 2 inches long. The hottest pepper grown commercially with a unique floral flavor and an extremely intense heat that affects the nasal passages. They are sold fresh and in glass acid proof jars.  

The Habanero is the blowtorch of the usual cooking chili family and the hottest usually available in US groceries. You can seed and de-pith habaneros to lower the heat, but when working with them, wear gloves and keep your hands away from your face, especially do not touch your eyes. I wear protective eyeglasses. Once burned, you do the same.

  Jalapeño*   Most often green when mature but sometimes red. They are very medium hot, with an immediate bite. Use whenever recipe simply calls for hot chile peppers. They can be fresh or canned. When smoked, Jalapeños are called chipotles.  

The Jalapeño is probably one of the most common cooking peppers.  Heat wise Jalapeños for some extroverts are tolerable but most folks like them de-pithed and de-seeded if needed and add great taste with subdued heat when cooked.ños are dark green and will go red when left on the vine longer if you grow your own.  Most chilis are easy to grow. If you like jalapeños go there.

 The Poblano*    Poblano peppers look like small bell peppers and are mild to hot on the hotness scale. They can be fresh or canned and flavorful.  Used in many dishes where ordinary green peppers do nothing for the dish.

  Serrano*   Sold as red or mature green and about 1 to 4 inches in length. Moderate to very hot with an intense bite. Can be found canned, pickled, or packed in oil with vegetables. Often served in Thai or Mexican dishes. 


I live in Tampa, Florida and one of many sources I use for Chilies is Publix SuperMarkets, Jalapeño’s  Habanero’s, Poblano’s, and Serrano’s.  I also have access to several ethnic supermarkets specializing in Thai, Philippine, Korean, with Indian and Chinese for specialty or hard to find proprietary chilies and other items.  

I use them in a lot of cooking. The selection here is not bad, workable and Publix usually has the marked Chili's on the shelf.  Most were marked products of California but it varies during the year.  Sometimes we get Mexico, sometimes Florida.

Quality sometimes varies since many of these are imported and are quite ripe when they get here.  I refrigerate mine to last longer and here is the process:

  • I remove the top and stem, slice in half the long way.  The HEAT is the white ‘PITH’ and the seeds
  • I use a tool I made from a “Melon Baller” I sharpened the edges of the baller with a Dremel tool.  Using my tool, I remove the white ‘Pith’ and seeds wearing safety glasses and rubber gloves in one shot under the water faucet.  I am basically doing batch de-heating (twenty or more) so when I cook I don’t have to stop and do a chili. 
  • I dice, slice, julienne, or chop for whatever I have planned, I have one Rubbermaid container with four sections and that covers me for a week of cooking.  For  volume cooking I  place then in a good quality Rubbermaid container with a little olive oil, shake it well, press to remove air or in a sealed bad removing the air with a baster, and they keep very well. 
  • Unique, odd, not so common chilies, may be found in ethnic food stores and should be well inspected, well washed and cleaned before using.   Many import companies illegally bring in some chilis in other forms, that have not been inspected lately.  
  • They also have dried chilies, and chilies in oil or water bottled.  I have found dirt and unknowns in some of the local flea markets so be aware.  Many ethnic groups raise their own and take them to flea markets to sell. I will not get gross here but fertilizer is fertilizer.   E.Coli and Listeria, also something we thought was gone is a parasite that the State Health Department hinted that contaminated fresh produce could be the source of the Cyclospora parasites that have caused the cyclosporiasis infections and may I guide you to RECALLS AND ADVISORIES
  • Again, I know I can be annoying about safety, be careful when cutting large amounts of chilies.  Wear glasses and do not touch your eyes. Chilies contain Capsaicin and onions contain Sulfur.  When you cut chilies or slice onions the water mixes and creates in the case of the onion a mild form of sulphuric acid. Thats why it burns delicate tissue.