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growing chillies

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
im starting to grow chillies and i wanna know whats the hottest chillie you guys know of, ill track down the seeds from somewere. at the moment the hottest i can find is black egyption chillies. BTW i live in australia, so that might minamize my options
post #2 of 22

The Scoville Scale

The "heat" of chillis is measured using something called the Scoville Scale; this measures the amount of capsaicin and other compounds (the compounds that make chillis fiery).

Most authorities seem to agree that the hottest chillis are habanero (from Mexico) and Scotch Bonnet (from the Caribbean) varieties - the Guinness Book of Records gives the laurels for hottest spice to a particular variety of habanero called Red Savina. You should find them a piece of cake to grow in Oz - don't over-water them, and plant them somewhere where they get full sun, but not for the whole day.

My two peri-peri chilli plants are about two feet tall and covered in flowers - they're very satisfying plants to grow.
post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 
Scoville Scale, how is that pronouced? thank you for the help, Jacaranda. i will try and track down those seeds asap.
post #4 of 22
The first syllable is a long O sound as in "coal" or "mole".

There is plenty of documentation and discussion on chilies and the hottest varieties. Capsaicin is the compound which makes peppers "hot". The more Capsaicin, the hotter they are. Typically, Habanero & Scotch Bonnet are agreed to be the hottest in most regions. There can be different varieties of each and in some places the names are interchangeable for the same pepper.

If you'd like to find out more about Scoville Units, look here.

ChilliWorld Scoville Scale of Peppers & Hot Sauces

Growing Chili Peppers
post #5 of 22
You can try planting Thai chillies. They are used in the spicy Tom Yam Soup and other dishes.
post #6 of 22

Thai Chilis

I agree. The small Thai chilis are about the hottest I've ever eaten.
They are deceptively "hot" because they appear so small...only about an inch long.
But one bite and you know you've met your match
In fact, Thai chef's in the US suggest that if you can't get Thai chilis in season substitue them with Serrano Chili Peppers....only increase the amount of Serranos you use to get the same "kick"
post #7 of 22
Habaneros are the hottest.
But they are so hot that they are kind of impractical. You have to use only the tiniest amount.

I think Thai chilies are perfect. They are super spicy and you don't have to "water" them down if you like it really hot.

Chewing on a raw Thai chilie will make anybody uncomfortable--even in pain, but chewing on a raw habanero is a health hazard.
post #8 of 22
Thread Starter 
wonderful!
I am currently holding a chillie challenge at my work, basicly the challenger gets a big bowl of pasta that has pepperoni, heaps of jalapenos, birdseye chillie, black egyption chillies, chillie sauce chillie flakes and once my plants are ready they will have habaneros in there. i reduce the **** out of it to the point were it is almost radioactive. if they can eat it in five minuts they get a free pint of beer :beer: and there name on a chalk bourd with the amount of time it took them, i currently hold the title of 1st place, these habaneros will hold my position alot longer but i guese ill have to eat a bowl too :bounce:
post #9 of 22
If you like spicy food check out this site. fiery-foods.com, I saw an article somewhere in there about the world's hottest chilie, I think it may have been some Indian chilie. Well worth a look.
post #10 of 22

Habanerro

..of which there are several varieties including Scotch Bonnet.

They also have the odd distinction of having flavor as well as flaming heat. Some chilis are just hot. Like peppers used for Tabasco.
Fresh chilis are not only uncomfortable if not impossible to eat but the oils in the chili stick. Which is why it's almost impossible to wash it off and CERTAINLY don't touch anything that you have any fondness for. Even after washing your hands thoroughly and repeatedly. Plus it can actually cause physical blistering in sensitive membranes etc.

I've heard of something called the "Chinese Death Pepper" but I've never seen one or tried it. It might be a version of Thai chilis.

What I've done is just gotten a couple of large fresh ones, seeded them, dryed out the seeds and plantied them. Works just fine. Plus it's cheaper than a packet.

I know they have them at the markets there. It's what I did when we lived there.

April
post #11 of 22
This is very true. One quick way to clean your hands is to rinse them with regular white vinegar. This works better than soap and water for hot chilies.
post #12 of 22

There are five species of domesticated capsicums

of which Capsicum chinense, as a group, are considered the hottest. Included here are the Habaneros and Red Savina. However, they are not the hottest chili around. Red Savina tests at around 500,000 SHUs (Scoville Heat Units). Habaneros run up to 300,000 SHUs, but most of them are considerably less hot.

But the Indian PC-1 is said to go as high as 750,000 SHUs.

To put that in perspective for non-chiliheads, Jalapenos run 2,500 to 10,000 SHUs, and are considered to be mild chilis. Tabasco runs 30-50,000 SHUs.

Putting the question of heat aside, peppers may or may not have a distinct underlying flavor. The chinense, as a class, have a smoky, tropical fruit flavor. The baccatums--my favorites---bring a citrusy taste to the table.

One reason I don't care for Jalapenos is that if you take away the heat all that's left is a sort of green taste, and I've never understood the point of that.

FWIW, all five species contain varieties that lack heat, or have very little, which provides an opportunity to see how they actually taste.

And, if you want to reduce the heat levels of a particular chili, keep in mind that most (upwards of 90%) of the capsaicin is found in the placenta---what we commonly call the ribs. So by discarding them you can make an otherwise blow-off-the-top-of-your-mouth chili into something manageable.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #13 of 22
There is definitely an added benefit to being able to keep the Capsaicin levels high and still be able to stomach the heat. It's that Capsaicin is a natural pain reliever for those that suffer from various forms of Arthritis. I can honestly say since I have had issues with various forms of this myself, I have tried to condition myself to eat as much of the spicy little devils as I can. Somedays you really pay the price though.:suprise: :eek: :lol: ;)

Still I can't imagine eating that concoction of furi's. And for a single pint at that.:roll::D
post #14 of 22
It's true. Capsaicin is a specific for treating arthritis. But for many people it's better to apply it topically in the form of salves or infused oils. For internal treatment, alfalfa makes more sense for most people. (among other things, I'm a practicing family herbalist)

The one thing to keep in mind, with chilis, is the intended effect. For most people, who use them for culinary purposes, what's wanted is a contribution to the dish being made. That could consist of flavor, or pungency, or a combination of the two.

For medicinal purposes, chilis serve a different function. Even when taken internally, the person taking the remedy isn't concerned with what it tastes like; only that it help fix what's wrong. And that person might be willing to accept certain side-effects and contraindications to affect a cure.

And for chiliheads like furi, all that matters is the burn, and the resultant endorphin rush that follows. The ultimate, for those folk, would be to drink a capsaicin tincture, which, when properly made, comes in at 1,000,000 SHUs. You start saying that: "One million...." Unfortunately, the survival rate of people who drink it isn't all that great. :(

BTW, Furi, for seed availability, check with Heritage Seed Curators Assn., PO Box 113, Lobethal, SA 5241, 08 8389 8649, han.HSCA@b150.aone.net.au or Seed Savers' Network, PO Box 975, Bryon Bay 2481, 02 6685 6624, info@seedsavers.net. Those are the two national seed saving organizations in Australia, and they or their members are likely to have seed you can't get any other way.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #15 of 22
The Dorset Naga has been clocked @ about 900,000 SHU. There has been some discussion as to whether the plant and the rating acually exist - my conclusion after reading a bit on the subject is that it's not a hoax or an April Fool's joke as some have claimed.

Shel
post #16 of 22
I'm not convinced, Shel. Lot's of talk about the Dorset Naga, but nobody's actually seen it. Nor can anyone tell me who did the testing.

I am convinced, however, that there are many chilis found on the Indian subcontinent that 1. have not been tested, and which 2. are hotter than the Red Savina.

BTW, Red Savina is not, as is commonly said, "a form of habanero." Some people want to group all the C. chinense as habaneros. But the habs are identified by their unique pod shape.

Using chilis for culinary purposes can really get complicated. One of the problems is that we do not have a lexicon of commonly understood terms. If a wine lover says a particular brew is "fruity," every other wine lover knows what he means. But chiliheads lack that descriptive language. So communication gets hard.

Another problem is learning comparability. For instance, a chinchi uchu has about the same heat as a serrano. Knowing that, I can substitute one for the other, particularly if I want that underlying flavor of the chinchi uchu. Keep in mind, however, that a serrano is about the size of my index finger, while three chinchi uchu barely cover my thumbnail.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #17 of 22
I'd agree with the first comment 100%.

I'd also agree that nomenclature for chilies, as well as descriptive terms, is all over the place.

I used to know more about the various varieties, and cooked with a greater variety more often. I'm just starting to get back to using more chilies, and have started reading about them to come up to date and to better understand them again.

I've not yet found another good source for ordering a wide variety of chilies. The place I used to use seems to be out of business.

Shel
post #18 of 22
Sorry, I can't help you with that. I mostly grow my own.

If you want sources for seeds and plants, I can give you recommendations.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #19 of 22

Update!

According to Ana Sortun, author of "Spice: Flavors of the Eastern Mediterannian," (which, by the way, is an incredible book), Kalustyan's, in NY, is a good source of chilis and chili powders.

I went to their website, www.kalustyans.com, and they claim to have 30 types in stock.

So you might check them out.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #20 of 22
I went to the site, clicked on a couple of links, and found that they have no chilies or chili powders in stock :( Thanks, though, for posting the link.

Shel
post #21 of 22
In Indian PC-1 pepper is the hotest. You can get the seeds here:
http://www.reimerseeds.com/indian-pc-1-hot-peppers.aspx
post #22 of 22
Abefroman, note that the Reimer site says "said to be the hottest."

Who says so are the folks at Redwood City Seeds, who have touted the Indian PC-1 for years. However, they use their own hotness scale, different from Scoville Heat Units, which is the industry standard.

Trying to establish comparability between the Redwood City measuring system and SHUs, it is guessed that the PC-1 equals about 750,000 SHUs.

So, the PC-1 may, indeed, be the hotest pepper in the world. But so far it isn't accepted as such by most authorities.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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