Sunday, April 02, 2006

Dorset Naga Chile to Give Red Savina a Run for the Record

A Chile pepper grown in a greenhouse in Britain's west country has been claimed as the world's hottest.

The Dorset Naga is so fiery that when the owners break the skin to remove the seeds to sow for the following year's crop they have to wear gloves and be outside in a strong wind so their eyes don't sting.

"It is something I wouldn't eat but some people must like them," said Joy Michaud, who developed the chilli at the Peppers by Post business she runs with her husband Michael at West Bexington.

An American laboratory found the chilli to be almost 60 per cent hotter than the one listed in the Guinness Book of Records. The Naga registered a Scoville heat unit of 876,000. The record holder is a Red Savina Habanero with a rating of 577,000.

The result was so startling that the Dorset pepper was sent for a second test to a laboratory in New York used by the American Spice Trade Association. It recorded a higher figure of 970,000 heat units.

The Naga, which is sold with a health warning, has been developed from a variety that originated in Bangladesh.

The Michauds found the chillis, collected the seed and grew them into plants. It was only when customers told them they were unable to eat curries containing half a small chilli pepper they realised how hot they were.

Mrs Michaud said: "We bought the original Naga Morich chilli from a shop in Bournemouth. It is revered by the Bangladeshis. We have all the certificates and believe it is a world record. We will be in touch with the Guinness Book of Records."

Aktar Miha of the Indis Bangladeshi restaurant in Bournemouth said: "Most people don't cook with it; they just have it near to them when they eat. They just touch their food with it. If you don't know what you are doing it could blow your head off."

1 comment:

Simon al-Mustaphammed said...

RE: They just touch their food with it.

That is not very creative.

Who's up for a game of Dorset Naga TAG?