A few years ago Steve Peckyno sent me a message that he really wanted to find seeds of the world's hottest pepper, Bhut Jolokia also called the Ghost Chili. He had read that the seeds were available somewhere in New Mexico, but couldn't seem to find where. I was able to find them at New Mexico State University's Chile Pepper Institute.
Back then, that was the only place I could find them, now they are all over the place.
The funny thing is Steve doesn't eat them, or any hot pepper for that matter. He just likes to grow them and give them away. He just gave a bunch away to friends who work with some engineers from India who love them. They put the peppers in a blender, liquefy them and then freeze them in ice cube trays to use as needed though the cold winter.
Let me tell you, these peppers are not to toy with. Scoville units measure how hot a pepper is, the Bhut Jolokia is 1,041,427, a jalapeno runs around 2500 to 5000.
Each year in thanks for helping him find the seed Steve sends me a box of peppers which I distribute to brave friends. This season the box included rubber gloves, which should tip you off to the power of the Ghost Chile.
My son Matt and I have been experimenting with hot peppers since he was a little boy. The first year we got these we lined up glasses of milk preparing for the fire. Of course, I made him try one first. We just cut a tiny tip of the pepper off to try; we knew it would be the mildest.
The first bite offered some heat, but nothing like we expected...until we cut just a 16th on an inch lower. The burn was ridiculous and lasted at least an hour. That's before getting into the real meat of the pepper.
I do use them sparingly to cook, but always with caution.
Want to know what it's like to eat one, watch this-