Better known as the ghost pepper, the Bhut Jolokia is among the hottest peppers in the world. Used by head-hunters to dissolve flesh, the pepper has 1.02 million Scoville Heat Units, making it up to eight times hotter than a habanero pepper.
Use With Care
If you’re unaccustomed to eating spicy peppers, steer clear of the Bhut Jolokia. Even a tiny sliver causes your mouth to burn, and it may take up to 10 minutes for the effects to fade. Eating hot peppers can cause stomach and mucous membrane irritation or pain, so warn your guests if you’re hosting a dinner party featuring the fiery seasoning. Make sure you have milk or another dairy product, like yogurt, on hand to tame the heat if someone finds the dish too spicy.
Handle With Care
When preparing Bhut Jolokia, wear kitchen gloves to protect your hands if you have any open wounds and so there's no chance any residue will remain on your hands. If you don't wear gloves, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water immediately after adding the chilies to your dish. Touching sensitive areas of your skin will cause burning, so don’t put your fingers in your mouth or near your eyes or head to the bathroom until your hands are completely free of pepper residue. Clean your kitchen knife and other utensils you’ve used before you use them for another dish.
- New Mexico State University: NMSU’s Chile Pepper Institute Names the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion the Hottest Pepper on Earth
- Smithsonian.com: The Gut-Wrenching Science Behind the World’s Hottest Peppers
- PepperScale: Ghost Pepper: A Fiery Pepper With a Hot Following
- New Mexico State University: Las Cruces Sun-News -- Open for Business
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Cayenne
- Yuma County Cooperative Extension: Chili Pepper
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