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Tepins

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Any of you chile heads out there ever tried tepins. It is supposedly the hottest food product in the world. It is a small berry looking thing that grows in Mexico. I'm not sure if it is a true chile, but I can tell you that they will burn your face off. I once read that 1 oz. of dried tepins produced detectable heat in a batch of 64,000 ounces of salsa. For all you math deficient folks, that's 500 gallons of salsa.
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post #2 of 14
Bhut Jolokia is even hotter!
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
Not according to the available information. I know that that one has held the title along with the Red Savina, but if you research it, the tepin is even hotter, so they say.
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post #4 of 14
don't you wonder who "they" is? And if they are able to taste anything anymore?

I once had a client that dared me to cook spicy enchiladas, saying that they could not be too hot. :D:D:D jalepinos, seranos, habaneros....then dried bird chilis....he was sweating. I stopped tasting after the seranos.:crazy::chef:
cooking with all your senses.....
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post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
There is actually a test called the Dremann scale that is a real world test that anyone can do in their own kitchen with basic scales, graduated eye droppers and such. Getting something tested for the Scoville number is outrageously expensive and inexact at best. This test basically assigns a number to 1 oz of the chiles. This number indicates how many ounces of salsa the chile can produce detectable heat in. The Bhut Jolokia has a number of 25,000. The Gold Bullet Habanero is 40,000. Dave's Ultimate Insanity Sauce is 50,000 and the Tepin has been measured up to 64,000
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post #6 of 14
Darn. I like the Bhut Jolokia fame since I grew up where they come from. :(
post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
Don't worry, according to Guiness, it still holds the record.
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post #8 of 14

hmmm......WSJ 2/2/08

The World's Hottest Chili
It's 200 times hotter than the jalapeño. Workers handle it with goggles and face masks. And spicy-food lovers can't wait to get their hands on it.
By STAN SESSER
February 2, 2008; Page W1

Guwahati, India

The bhut jolokia chili pepper fires up the imagination, as well as the taste buds. The thumb-sized chilies are so potent they could be used in pepper spray, says the director of India's Defense Research Lab, R.B. Srivastava. "I've been told the U.S. and Israel have considered it for antiriot material," he says.
[Pepper photo]

Most admirers prefer eating them. The Indian pepper is the latest discovery by a fraternity of eaters who relish the sweaty, addictive pleasures of hot chilies.

The bhut jolokia pepper, which is farmed in the northeast part of the country, was plucked from obscurity last year when the Guinness Book of World Records declared it the world's hottest. The standard measure for such things is the Scoville Heat Unit, or SHU, named after Wilbur Lincoln Scoville, a chemist who in 1912 developed a method of assessing the heat given off by capsaicin, the active ingredient in chili peppers. Jalapeño peppers measure about 5,000 SHUs. The bhut jolokia tops a million.

"When you eat it, it feels like dying," touts one online retailer. Even packaging the stuff is a pain. "Our workers wear goggles, face masks, head cover and protective clothing," says Ananta Saikia, whose firm is the pepper's sole exporter. "They look like astronauts." He and his wife have started shipping tons of dried bhut jolokia around the world, including Germany, England and the U.S. Annual sales, he says, are expected to jump 500% this year.

Locals here in Assam and the neighboring states of Manipur and Nagaland add fresh chopped chilies to the pot when cooking curries. The hardiest eat them raw as a condiment. Dried pepper powder and flakes are sold online in the U.S. and abroad.
The Bhut Jolokia is the world's hottest pepper. But, despite its extreme heat, those who try it often become huge fans. Will the same happen to WSJ's Stan Sesser? Watch as he samples the treat from India.

The spread of Mexican, Thai and Sichuan cuisines that use chili peppers is kindling America's interest in hot dishes. There are hundreds of Web sites selling sauces and chili seeds, says Dave DeWitt, of Albuquerque, N.M., who has written 31 books on the topic. Visits to his Web site, fiery-foods.com, have doubled in the past five years to 2.5 million annually, he says.

"There's also the macho, who-can-eat-the-hottest aspect," says Dave Hirschkop, owner of Dave's Gourmet Inc. and the producer of Dave's Insanity Sauce. This spring, he plans to add bhut jolokia to his 2008 Private Reserve hot sauce, priced at $30 for a five-ounce bottle packaged in a small wooden coffin. Mr. Hirschkop says he got in the business after opening a Mexican restaurant in Maryland in the early 1990s. He started serving superhot sauces in his restaurant as a joke. Then he discovered customers liked them.

Hard-core chili addicts incorporate the pursuit of hot food into their travels. Terry and Marty Ward of Virginia Beach, Va., have chased chilies in Jamaica, Venezuela, Aruba, Mexico and New Mexico. India is now on the couple's trip list, says Mr. Ward.
[Go to slideshow]
A woman holds her basket of bhut jolokias, a prized possession. They're chopped up for curries, pickled, and often eaten fresh as an accompaniment to a meal.

Food scientists speculate that hot chilies have an unexpected side effect that boosts their popularity. A publication of the Brooklyn Botanical Garden in New York described it this way: "When capsaicin comes into contact with the nerve endings in the tongue and mouth, pain messengers, called neurotransmitters, are sent to the brain in a panic. The brain, mistakenly perceiving that the body is in big trouble, responds by turning on the waterworks to douse the flames. The mouth salivates, the nose runs and the upper body breaks into a sweat. The heart beats faster and the natural painkiller endorphin is secreted. In other words, you get a buzz."

It's similar to a runner's high, says Bruce Bryant, a researcher for the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia, which specializes in analyzing taste. That may explain why plants shunned by starving animals end up in party bowls next to the chips. "We're about the only species who like hot peppers," he says. "You can't even train a rat to like them."
TURNING UP THE HEAT

• Potent Brew: Feel the burn with this recipe for Texas Beef Chili
• Trip Planner: See where to stay and what to do in the Assan region of India, known for its fiery peppers.

The chilies are so loved in Assam that locals brighten at just the mention of bhut jolokia. "I've been eating them for 25 years," says Indrajit Karayan Dev, a filmmaker in Guwahati, Assam's capital. "I have two plants near my garage and every morning I pluck one for lunch. We eat them raw, pickled, in vegetable stir-fries and in chicken soup." Hoihnu Hauzel, the New Delhi-based author of a cookbook on northeast Indian cuisine, says her mother keeps her stocked. "I grew up in Manipur," she says. "Now, whenever someone comes here from home, my mother sends me some."

Besides its heat, the bhut jolokia departs from other peppers with its distinct flavor. Raw, it has a strong vegetable smell. Cooked with pork in a curry, it gives the meat a perfume-like sweetness. "It doesn't just make the dish spicy," says Ms. Hauzel. "It enhances the flavor." Bhut jolokia chilies look like jalapeño peppers and redden as they ripen. Some devotees chop a single chili for a pot of curry; others use a half pepper to accompany a meal. "Our whole family can share one chili for an entire week," says Mr. Saikia.

Although it's been eaten in northeast India for centuries, the bhut jolokia pepper would still be undiscovered by the rest of the world if not for scientist R.K.R. Singh. He works at the Indian government's Defense Research Laboratory, which occupies a tree-shaded campus in Assam, outside the city of Tezpur. Seven years ago, Mr. Singh, who loves bhut jolokia, got curious about its heat quotient. "We knew it was hot, but no one knew how hot," he says. He asked for a lab analysis, and the results were submitted to a scientific journal.
[Pepper heat chart]

Word of the tests reached the Chile Pepper Institute of New Mexico State University, which is widely regarded as the final arbiter of all chili questions. The institute is headed by Paul Bosland, a 54-year-old horticulture professor. "I put all my chilies in one basket," he says of the 22 years he's devoted to studying hot peppers. "It was always a poor sister to tomatoes in terms of research."

Mr. Bosland grew bhut jolokia from seed in the desert climate of southern New Mexico and discovered, " 'Oh my gosh, this is hot,' " he recalls. A panel of tasters used to rank chilies. Now a process called high performance liquid chromatography does all the work, with results given in Scoville Heat Units. The peppers yielded a reading of 1,041,427 SHUs, twice that of the California red savina pepper, the previous record-holder. An SHU is the amount of dilution needed before the chili is undetectable. A drop of bhut jolokia extract needs a million drops of water.

The Saikias expect their company, Frontal Agritech Ltd., to sell 25 tons of dried chilies for the fiscal year ending in March. Mr. Saikia, 45, a horticulture professor at Assam Agricultural University, says the couple started their export business in 2004, knowing "we had a unique thing here." Shipments are certified by the Spices Board of India, a stamp of approval that allows entry into most overseas markets, he says.

Among their customers is Tom Beasley, of Merritt Island, Fla. He started buying powdered bhut jolokia six months ago and sells it at his Web site, burnmegood.com, with the promotion, "It's so hot, you can't even imagine; when you eat it, it's like dying."

The market for bhut jolokia, while growing, may be limited by the very quality that's put it on the map. "I've never even had a bite of bhut jolokia," says Mr. DeWitt, despite his career promoting hot foods. "I've reached the level I really like, and there's no reason to exceed that level." The head of India's defense lab, Mr. Srivastava agrees. "I'm from New Delhi," he says. "It's too hot for me."
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How come "dishwasher" is not listed as a choice for culinary experience?

"...the very genesis of our art."
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________________IRONCHEFATL___
How come "dishwasher" is not listed as a choice for culinary experience?

"...the very genesis of our art."
- Escoffier on grilling
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post #9 of 14
I was born in Guwahati
post #10 of 14
This Dremann scale of which you speak, sounds sketchy.
"Detectable heat in SALSA?"
What kind of salsa?
Is there a specific recipe that is used for the "salsa"?
Assuming its tomato salsa, and specific recipe, is a specific tomato?
onion?
garlic?
It sounds SOOO convincing until it says "salsa"
________________IRONCHEFATL___
How come "dishwasher" is not listed as a choice for culinary experience?

"...the very genesis of our art."
- Escoffier on grilling
Reply
________________IRONCHEFATL___
How come "dishwasher" is not listed as a choice for culinary experience?

"...the very genesis of our art."
- Escoffier on grilling
Reply
post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
Google it. There is a good bit of information on the subject. The test was formulated to avoid the crazy costs involved in testing for the Scoville number. I don't know how accurate or scientific it is, but it sounds interesting. I just know from experience using the Tepin, that it is a killer. I love chiles and have tried hundreds of different kinds, but this one far exceeds the heat level of anything I have ever had.
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post #12 of 14
So, the question that comes to mind is:

With Bhut Jolokia and Tepins, is there any taste or is it pure heat?
post #13 of 14
See, that's the thing. I'm not a fan of insanely hot chilis because at a certain heat, you stop tasting the food, and just feel the heat of chili. That sucks. I'd rather enjoy food for the taste of food, not mask it with some ridiculously hot pepper.
post #14 of 14
I eat a lot of hot chiles. I don't taste the hot as much, and I can actually enjoy the flavor of really hot stuff. (International conversion, "flavor" in US units equals "flavour" in Commonwealth units).

On the other hand, hot can be too hot for me. I do like the flavor of bhut jolokia, but it only takes a little bit before it gets too hot.
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