I enjoy spicy food.
That’s a statement that is not only highly subjective, but also tends to be challenged regularly. I enjoy a level of spice that gets me sweating slightly in my forehead, but I’ve on occasion had chicken wings so spicy that I couldn’t feel my finger tips, or lips afterwards. I don’t feel any need to go hotter than that. At that point, it’s not even like you’re tasting the sauce, you’re really just feeling it.
If I’m being honest, anytime I’ve eaten anything that hot, (specifically ordered the hottest wings on the menu), it’s been more about seeing what my own tolerance is, and a slight bit of curiosity about the sauce itself, and not about enjoying a tasty meal with a little kick.
I do enjoy watching others subject themselves to spice levels that seem unnatural. I used to love watching Man v. Food. It just wasn’t enjoyable to do myself.
I recently made my own hot sauce, which was pretty mild, but in the process of making it, I didn’t think to wear gloves, and my hands felt as if I’d high-fived way too hard, for three days. That was with simple chili peppers and jalapenos.
So, the reason I’m talking about all of this, is that I saw an article last night about Pepper X, the new (awaiting judging) record holder for hottest pepper on Earth. As I read, they described how a Welsh chili grower ‘invented’ the pepper. Now, I assume that is a process of crossbreeding and other botany techniques I’m not familiar with, but it sounded utterly ridiculous. Are we that deprived of spice, or that in need of new levels of spice, that we have to have someone engineering new peppers?
Pepper X is 3.18 million Scoville units, which is the heat level, and to give you an idea for comparison, the spice of a jalapeno is 2,500-10,000 Scoville units. Now, I have had a jalapeno, and thought “I could go hotter” but I haven’t had a jalapeno and thought “I could go 318 times hotter.”
I am never going to try the Pepper X, I hope that’s clear, but I honestly wonder, can you taste/feel the difference between that and the next hottest the “Dragon’s Breath” chili, which is 2.48 million Scoville units? There has to be a cap on intensity, and how is it possible that both of these peppers haven’t well surpassed that cap?
My next question about Pepper X is: Is there anything enjoyable about it? Obviously the people trying it, are just doing so for bragging rights, but beyond a sense of accomplishment or pride or whatever is there anything else enjoyable?
Are their health risks associated with that level of spice? I mean does eating one of these peppers just immediately give you an ulcer? Do you sweat all of salt and water out of your entire body and die? What if you’re cutting one of these peppers and it sprays at all into your eyes, are you immediately blind?
Lastly, and this is something I think must be the case, is this in preparation of weaponized food? Will we be making some kind of super intense pepper spray, or a mist to drop on enemies? If that’s the case, is it in accordance with the Geneva Convention? Because it feels like the answer seems like no. This level of spice seems like a war crime.
I’ll be honest, there are a lot of things that I don’t get, I never understood ‘butt-chugging’ because drunk never seemed like it needed to be an easier state to reach, and added to that list, is why we have people developing peppers that are this level of hot.
What do you think about Pepper X? Would you try it if given the opportunity? Am I wrong about not being able to appreciate the difference at these levels of hot? Tell me in the comments below.