The Truth About The World's New Hottest Pepper

The Scoville scale is a widely used measuring system to determine the spice of peppers, and it's got a new king at the top. However, this newly crowned winner isn't found in a region known for producing spicy peppers such as India or Thailand. Instead, it was grown in North Wales, UK by hobby chili grower (yes, there is such a thing) Mike Smith (via Wide Open Eats). 

The chili is called "Dragon's Breath," a nod to how popular the dragon is in Welsh mythology. It's a fitting name for a pepper that measures almost 2.5 million on the Scoville scale. By comparison, jalapeño peppers measure 5,000, habaneros come in at 150,000, and the Carolina Reaper, formerly the hottest pepper in the world, has a measure of 1.5 million (via Alimentarium). The brave soul who ate a Carolina Reaper reported that it felt like "eating molten lava." Pepper spray has a rating of 5.3 million, and pure capsaicin — the substance which gives peppers their spice — tops the pepper heat scale at a whopping 16 million.

How to use the world's hottest chili

Don't expect to find the Dragon's Breath in a salsa anytime soon, though. The pepper is so hot that it could burn the throat of the person ingesting it and cause anaphylactic shock, closing their airwaves. The chili is so potent that when it was displayed at a local flower show it had to be kept in a special container. The grower himself was only able to touch the pepper to the tip of his tongue and reported that it just burned and burned, with the intensity of the heat only growing as time went on (via Daily Post). 

However, Smith, who has been growing vegetables and peppers for close to a decade, has another non-culinary plan for the pepper. Because the oils contained in the pepper are strong enough to numb the skin, he plans to develop it for use as an anesthetic alternative for people who are allergic to mainstream anesthetics.