Some like it Hot! An obsession with Chili Peppers.
A cupboard full of sauces.
I bought 10 seeds of the Naga Jolokia (Bhut Jolokia, Ghost Chili, Naga Morich) which cost me a small fortune of 70 cents per seed including shipping from the Chili Pepper Institute of NMSU which is the only source for the seeds.
The Bhut Jolokia is known as the hottest pepper in the world. These are rated at over 1,000,000 Scoville units by the New Mexico State University Pepper Institute, which is twice as hot as the next hottest pepper the red Savina scotch bonnet or habanero. A quote from Wikipedia: "Samples of Red Savina have been measured as high as 580,000 Scoville units. For comparison, this is twice as hot as a regular habanero pepper (100,000–350,000 Scoville units), and 65 times as hot as a jalapeño pepper. A cayenne pepper rates only 30,000–50,000 Scoville units."
Interestingly, we went to an Indian restaurant in Baltimore a long time ago and ordered some food telling the waiter that we wanted the food "Indian hot". Actually it was my wife who opened her big mouth and insisted that she wanted food the way the Indians ate it. Well the food was incendiary! It was so hot I literally almost passed out. I was sweating profusely, my face was flushed and I had difficulty breathing. Maybe they had the Bhut Jolokia. I saw the ghost and the apparition was ME!
Here's an NMSU article about the Bhut Jolokia
Here's more information about the Bhut Jolokia.
Here's a fun story on why they call it the "ghost chili".
And finally here's a woman who consumed 60 Bhut Jolokias in one sitting! I wonder how that turned out in the end? ;)
I'll let you know just how hot these peppers are after we grow them next year. Stay tuned.
If you are interested in buying some seeds, you don't have to download and print and mail the form on the NMSU Chili Pepper Institute site. You can just order it over the phone with a credit card.
Thanks (I think) to Entangled for finding the source for the Bhut Jolokia seeds.
Some of our Jalapeno peppers which are still going strong. We also planted some cayenne peppers this year but though they taste pretty good, they were not hot enough. We dried a bunch to make pepper flakes but was disappointed that it didn't have more heat. Someone mentioned it was because the plants weren't stressed enough but there were times when the shrub was wilted so it may just have been the variety. I notice there are some heatless varieties sold in the markets now. What good is a hot pepper without heat?
These are bird peppers which we unfortunately forgot to plant this year. This one has a wonderfully unique taste and is quite hot. The peppers are the size of baby peas but biting into one of these can bring tears to your eyes and snort fire from your nose.
Here are some Asian hot sauces. The large strange looking bottle on the left was a disappointing Chinese garlic and pepper sauce. I usually buy the Lan Chi brand which is great but tried this one instead with less than sterling results. It's just hot with no pepper taste or character. The hot bean sauce is great. And the green curry sauce can't be beaten in my opinion. I haven't tried the red curry sauce in the small can.
Some sauces and chipotle peppers commonly available in grocery stores except for the Sonia. The Goya sauces are run of the mill which I only use when I want a different taste. It's no better than the generic red hot sauces you see in stores. But the Goya chipotle peppers in sauce are great. Hot, smoky and wonderful tasting. Chipotle isn't a variety of pepper. It's the Jalapeno pepper which is smoke dried before made into a sauce. We haven't tried the La Morena chipotle sauce yet so I can't comment on its quality.
Of the commonly available sauces, we like the Tapatio which is very cheap but a step above the usual offerings at the grocers.
This Sonia sauce deserves special attention. This was a common sauce used in Mauritania where our daughter was a Peace Corps volunteer. It was cheap, about 60 cents, but very tasty and has about the right amount of heat for me. It has an interesting pepper taste, one that I had not encountered before. But we are on our last bottle and I can't find a source for it online. ;(
The Death sauces are my wife's favorite. It even comes with a skull keychain ornament.
I don't remember buying these sauces. It may have been a gift from our daughter when she visited Tegucigalpa, Honduras. She's an enabler. We have yet to try these sauces.
We have yet to try the Ass Blaster or the sauce on the right but the XXX sauce is delicious - just the right amount of heat and piquancy.
The sauce in the middle is a killer. Dave's insanity sauce is the hottest sauce we've come across. Just the fumes from the open bottle will set your eyes tearing. My wife who has a very high tolerance for peppers - she will literally cover a pizza with a layer of the red peppers in a restaurant - dabbed the tip of her pinkie in some sauce and put a bit on the tip of her tongue. Her face immediately turned beet red, she reached for some water and was consumed with pain for a few minutes. One whiff of the open bottle was enough. I was a chicken and didn't even try it. Now we use it only to make deer and rabbit repellent by adding a few drops to a gallon of water and some detergent.
We like peppers so much, even our jellys have pepper in them. We made a lovely colored pepper jelly with some of the Cayenne peppers we grew this year, which turned out quite well. Next time we'll use apple cider vinegar though to cut some of the harsh acetic acid taste of regular distilled white vinegar. Maybe a mild rice vinegar would be an even better substitute.