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Adios Bhut Jolokia, hello Trinidad Moruga Scorpion
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Darqcyde



Joined: 11 Jul 2006
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Location: A false vacuum abiding in ignorance.

PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 3:07 am    Post subject: Adios Bhut Jolokia, hello Trinidad Moruga Scorpion Reply with quote

World's hottest chili offers hope to poor Indian state
Quote:
By TIM SULLIVAN
Associated Press Writer
August 05, 2007


CHANGPOOL, India The farmer, a quiet man with an easy smile, has spent a lifetime eating a chili pepper with a strange name and a vicious bite. His mother stirred them into sauces. His wife puts them out for dinner raw, blood-red morsels of pain to be nibbled carefully, very carefully with whatever she's serving.

Around here, in the hills of northeastern India, it's called the "bhut jolokia" the "ghost chili." Anyone who has tried it, they say, could end up an apparition.

"It is so hot you can't even imagine," said the farmer, Digonta Saikia, working in his fields in the midday sun, his face nearly invisible behind an enormous straw hat. "When you eat it, it's like dying."

Outsiders, he insisted, shouldn't even try it. "If you eat one," he told a visitor, "you will not be able to leave this place."

The rest of the world, though, should prepare itself.

Because in this remote Indian region facing bloody insurgencies, widespread poverty and a major industry tea farming in deep decline, hope has come in the form of this thumb-sized chili pepper with frightening potency and a superlative rating: the spiciest chili in the world. A few months ago, Guinness World Records made it official.

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 chili 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.

Exporters are eagerly courting the international community of rabid chili-lovers, a group that has traded stories for years about a mysterious, powerful Indian chili. Farmers are planting new fields of bhut jolokias, government officials are talking about development programs.

Chances are no one will get rich. But in a region where good news is a rarity, the world record status has meant a lot of pride and a little more business.

"It has got tremendous potential," says Leena Saikia, the managing director of Frontal AgriTech, a food business in the northeastern state of Assam that has been in the forefront of bhut jolokia exports.

Last year, her company shipped out barely a ton of the chilis. This year, amid the surge in publicity, the goal is 10 tons to nearly a dozen countries. "We're getting so many inquiries," says Saikia, whose name is common in Assam, and who is unrelated to the farmer. "We'll be giving employment to so many people."

For now, at least, transport issues and a tangle of government regulations mean most exports are of dried bhut jolokias and chili paste. But, Saikia added, the paste can be used for everything from hot sauces to tear gas. Because the heat is so concentrated, food manufacturers in need of seasoning can use far less bhut jolokia than they would normal chilis.

India's northeast, a cluster of seven states that hangs off the country's eastern edge, is a place where most people are ethnically closer to China and Myanmar than the rest of India. It's a deeply troubled area, often neglected by the central government in New Delhi, where more than two dozen ethnic militant groups are fighting the Indian government and one another. Many areas remain largely off-limits to foreigners, and few days pass without at least one killing.

In Assam, the wealthiest of the region's states, the long-dominant tea industry is facing falling prices and rising costs, and one-third of the population lives below the poverty line. Attacks by the state's main militant group, the United Liberation Front of Asom, and retaliatory government crackdowns, have brutalized the region.

The first reports of bhut jolokia filtered out in 2000, when the government's Assam-based Defense Research Laboratory announced the bhut jolokia as the world's hottest chili. But their tests, reportedly done during research on tear gas, took years to be corroborated.

The confirmation came earlier this year from New Mexico State University's Chile Pepper Institute, where spiciness is a religion. The institute got its first bhut jolokia seeds in 2001, but it took years to grow enough peppers for testing.

Their results, backed up by two independent labs and heralded by Guinness, were astonishing.

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 jalapeno 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.

The pepper is known by any number of names across India's northeast. It's the "poison chili" in some areas, the "king of the chilis" in others. Just to the south of Assam is Nagaland, it's eaten in nearly every meal. As a result, it is often called the Naga mircha the "Naga chili."

Still, getting your hands on a fresh bhut jolokia is difficult except in a handful of northeastern towns. A few specialty companies in the United States and Britain sell dried chilis and seeds, but the plants are painfully fragile, susceptible to many pests and diseases, and very difficult to grow.


From the horse's mouth:
http://hosted.ap.org/specials/interactives/_international/india_chili/index.html

Like a cocktail of battery acid and glass shards eh? Good news for an impoverished region
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Last edited by Darqcyde on Thu Feb 16, 2012 6:01 am; edited 2 times in total
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Thy Brilliance



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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 3:22 am    Post subject: mysterious, powerful Indian chili? If it solves cancer maybe Reply with quote

Sounds rather hyped up to me. But ok.
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Darqcyde



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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 3:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You have no idea how obsessed some people are with super hot foods and chili peppers, do you?
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Secret



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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 3:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I almost want to eat one whole now.

Almost.
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MsFrisby



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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 3:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I was in high school, my spanish teacher had a pepper plant growing in the classroom. He noted that it wasn't, quite, as hot as an habanero, but that it was #3 or something as one of the hottest peppers. The peppers were tiny, about the size of holly berries and bright orangey red. It became somewhat of a "test of macho" for the guys in the class to egg each other into trying one.

It was quite amusing for the onlookers, but it seemed to be unequivocally painful for those who actually went through with it. One guy's experience particularly sticks in my mind as he ended up, hands on knees, bent over and drooling pints of saliva onto the concrete just outside the classroom door.

I thought it was a hideously stupid thing to do to one's self on purpose.
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Thy Brilliance



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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 6:17 am    Post subject: I'm pretty sure my tongue doesn't taste much anymore. Reply with quote

Darqcyde wrote:
You have no idea how obsessed some people are with super hot foods and chili peppers, do you?


I can take *anything,* but I'm not obsessed with it.
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Sam



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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 10:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MsFrisby wrote:
One guy's experience particularly sticks in my mind as he ended up, hands on knees, bent over and drooling pints of saliva onto the concrete just outside the classroom door.


That shit is the absolute best.

You're all balls and forebrain and you're telling yourself i can take this i can take anythifffFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFUCKKKK
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Snorri



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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 6:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It ain't as hot as me.
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Lasairfiona



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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 6:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Snorri wrote:
It ain't as hot as me.

Rrrraowr.

I wonder if its flavor is any good.

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Sam



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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 6:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Any flavor it might have is going to be undetectable under absurd levels of capsaicin, that ..

oh, are you talking about Snorri? Musky with burnt oak-cask overtones.
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Lasairfiona



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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 6:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Razz

Come on, even habaneros have a wonderful flavor if you roast the capsaicin out.

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Falkonn



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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 7:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've only had a habanero a few of times, but it was in mexico while I was on vacation. Mexicans knowing how to make things hot is not just some cliche idea. The dried habaneros are hot, but the worst ones are when they cook them in their own juices so that the habanero is just a mushy pepper chock full of habanero juice. The habanero itself, not so bad...those juices just might kill you though. It was good times for sure. =)

The funniest thing though was when my mother (who was with me) ate one on accident. I've never seen her look more startled. She said that she didn't know what a habanero was!
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Secret



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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 9:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sam wrote:
Any flavor it might have is going to be undetectable under absurd levels of capsaicin, that ..


Speaking of which, obviously this would have a lethal effect on the taste buds, but is there enough capsaicin to blister the tongue? And if so, how thoroughly?

I wonder if the person reporting actually ate one for the 'shards and acid' judgement.
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Darqcyde



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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 10:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Secret wrote:
Sam wrote:
Any flavor it might have is going to be undetectable under absurd levels of capsaicin, that ..


Speaking of which, obviously this would have a lethal effect on the taste buds, but is there enough capsaicin to blister the tongue? And if so, how thoroughly?

I wonder if the person reporting actually ate one for the 'shards and acid' judgement.


The author of the article is the one speaking in the link up top and he says that he did indeed eat one. I think many people who enjoy these insane levels of hotness are really addicted to the continual endorphin rush produced by eating such food.
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Sam



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PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2007 4:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As far as I understand capsaicin, it doesn't cause actual burning but creates the burning sensation by adhering to sensory neurons and causing the neurons to produce the sensation of pain. It doesn't seem to actually burn anything.
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