Love chili peppers? Did you know that they call it the "spice for a healthy life"? Actually if you're a fan of spicy then perhaps you are aware of the wide abundance of hot spices. Today we will familiarize you with the standouts that many believe are a true challenge for the human palate.
In case you didn't know, it was in 1912 that pharmacist Wilbur Scoville who came up with the Scoville scale, which is used to measure the level of spiciness. Today scientists measure the spicy potential of different kinds of chili peppers, or more specifically the capsaicin contained in them, in spices and dishes, with quantities varying from 0 over 1 million.
Cayenne pepper is one of the hottest spices in the world. It bears its name in honor of the fiery chili peppers that grow around the Cayenne river in French Guiana. Often mistaken for paprika, cayenne pepper is typically a powder mixed with other spices - garlic, thyme, cloves, aromatic peppers, cumin and even dry onion powder.
To date, the biggest producers of cayenne pepper are West Africa, Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, California, Guyana, Vietnam, India and China.
Cayenne pepper provides a specific taste and sharpness to any dish. It's also used in molten salt, chili powder, curry and exotic spices such as mole negro and berbere. Cayenne pepper perfectly complements the tastes of dishes such as peas and lentils, meat and fish soups.
Sambal oelek - this Indonesian paste is found on the tables of many Asian restaurants but be careful because just 1 pinch is enough to transform an entire dish into a culinary hell, equal to about 10 000 Scoville units.
The Red Savina, a variety of habanero peppers, was for a long time considered the hottest chili pepper in the world. Up until 2006, it held this title in the Guinness Book of World Records... then came the bhut jolokia. It, in turn, reaches an amazing 1 million Scovilles. Wearing gloves is mandatory when handling it.
Blair's 16 Million Reserve
According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the hottest spice in the world is "Blair's 16 Million Reserve". It consists of pure capsaicin extract and scales in at an entire 16 million Scoville units.