Sunday, March 21, 2010

Hotness in Cambridge

Last night I gave the local brother-in-law a habanero chilli from the garden, one of the first of the crop. (That isn’t them above, but is what they look like.) I hadn’t used one yet. I did today, for lunch, in a salsa made from other stuff from the garden. Yikes. I knew that habaneros were hotter than the usual cayennes or jalepenos, and even bird’s eyes which I grew last year, so I used only one instead of the recommended four. The result was plenty hot enough.

And then I thought, uh-oh, I didn’t warn the brother-in-law.

He texted tonight that it was astoundingly hot going in, and he feared for the consequences at the other end in the morning.

So I looked up habaneros in the excellent New Zealand Chili Handbook by Garry Sommerville of Kaitaia Fire. He says that the cayenne pepper, which is what you get fresh in the supermarket, has a Scoville rating of 30-50,000. A habanero can go up to 350,000.

Oops. Sorry, bro.


Rob Hosking said...


Ouch Ouch Ouch.

That sounds like a 'run a cold tap over your arse' job.

FB said...

a burnin' ring of fire ?

Stephen Stratford said...

Yes I believe there might have been a Johnny Cash incident there.

I don't usually scrape all the capsaica out - seeds and pith, basically - for standard cayennes and even bird's-eyes but I did this time and I am so glad I did.

Phil said...

So, you're taking the pith then?

FB said...

Stephen Stratford said...

FB sends us to this story about the bhut jolokia pepper: "The 3in-long stubbly red pepper has been measured at 1,041,427 units on the Scoville scale, twice as hot as the next fieriest pepper, the Mexican red savina, and 200 times hotter than Tabasco sauce"

And you just know that some drunken English idiot will try to eat one.