Back when I last visited Montreal, my sister gave me one of the greatest gifts ever: a bunch of Ghost Chilis and Carolina Reapers she’d grown in her garden. I love spicy. Very spicy. Even so, at roughly 1 million Scoville heat units, it proved a bit of a challenge. Tasty, but mind-numbingly hot despite the tiny slivered portions and bagel chasers. The Carolina Reaper, at roughly 2 million Scoville units, was just out of my league. There is hotter, but it’s weapons grade, better suited to crowd control than eating.
Still, inspired by my new haul, I returned home and immersed them in oil and garlic for a week, then oven dried them and ground them into a fine powder using my
dedicated coffee pepper grinder. Then, I hit my local farmer’s market and picked up a few more tonsil-ticklers: scorpion chilis, habaneros, chocolate habaneros, fatalis, birds eye chilis, and, of course, those wimpy but no less tasty jalapeños. They all went into the oven at the very lowest setting for the better part of a day, and then each in turn took a spin in the grinder. The results were…magical.
I packed away each powdered pepper in tiny individual plastic containers – perfectly portable for all occasions, although I heeded Akemi’s advice and took the extra step of sealing them in individual poly-bags. I mean, next to dousing your pants with lighter and setting a match to them, I can’t imagine anything more unpleasant than a cracked container sprinkling scorpion chilis down the inner lining of your underwear during dinner.
The Wheel of Fire!
So how high up the Scoville Scale can you climb?