The First Pepper To Break One Million On The Scoville Heat Rating Scale Was The?
Answer: Ghost Pepper
Spicy peppers have long been a staple of traditional diets around the globe and even in regions where hot peppers aren’t traditionally grown, there are plenty of chili pepper aficionados to keep the export business thriving.
While peppers have been around for ages, only recently have people begun aggressively cultivating peppers to increase how spicy they are. Originally somewhat of a cottage industry, the arms race in pepper cultivation gained international attention in 2007 when Guinness World Records certified the Bhut Jolokia (or Ghost Pepper) as the hottest pepper in the world and the first to break the one million Scoville heat unit mark.
For the unfamiliar, the Scoville scale is used to rank the spicy heat (pungency) of peppers or other spicy foods. The common Bell pepper has a rating of zero, a mild pepper like the Jalapeño has (depending on the type and growing conditions) a rating from 1,000-20,000 Scoville units, and once you get into the various traditional chili peppers, you’re creeping up into the 50,000-100,000+ range.
After the Ghost Pepper gained international attention, the race was on to cultivate an even spicier variety of pepper. Since 2007, we’ve seen new records set for other peppers like the Naga Viper and Trinidad Moruga Scorpion. Most recently, the Carolina Reaper, a hybrid of the Naga Viper and a sweet habanero, set the bar with a staggering 1,500,000 Scoville unit ranking.
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