If you thought the Carolina Reaper was the ultimate challenge for spicy food lovers, think again. There is a new contender for the title of the world’s hottest pepper, and it’s called Pepper X. This small, wrinkly yellow-green pepper is the creation of Ed Currie, the founder of PuckerButt Pepper Company in South Carolina, who also bred the previous record holder, the Carolina Reaper.
According to Guinness World Records, Pepper X measures an average of 2.693 million Scoville Heat Units (SHU), which is the scale used to measure the concentration of capsaicinoids, the chemical compounds that give peppers their heat. That’s more than one million units hotter than the Carolina Reaper, which averaged 1.64 million SHU. To put that in perspective, a jalapeño pepper typically hits 100,000 SHU, while a habanero can land between 10,000 and 23,000 SHU.
Currie said he developed Pepper X over a decade ago, but kept it a secret until he was sure that no one could beat his previous record. He revealed his spicy invention on the YouTube show Hot Ones, where he received the Guinness award and announced the new variety to the world. He described the sensation of eating a whole Pepper X as an intense burn that lasts for hours and causes cramps, groans, and pain.
Pepper X is a crossbreed of a Carolina Reaper and another pepper that Currie received from a friend in Michigan. He said that Pepper X’s exterior bumpiness creates more space for the placenta, the tissue that holds the seeds and contains most of the capsaicinoids. Currie said he grows his peppers organically and uses them to make hot sauces, which are the only way to taste Pepper X as he does not sell the pods or seeds to protect his intellectual property.
Currie said he started growing peppers as a hobby after overcoming drug and alcohol addictions, and that peppers act as a natural high by releasing dopamine and endorphins into the body. He also said he hopes his peppers can help people with chronic pain, inflammation, and other health issues. However, he warned that Pepper X is not for everyone and that people should be careful when handling or consuming it.
So, are you brave enough to try Pepper X? If you are, you might want to have some milk, yogurt, or ice cream handy to cool down your mouth. And remember, don’t touch your eyes or any other sensitive parts of your body after touching Pepper X. You have been warned!