Home   News   Article

World’s hottest chilli to hit UK shelves - do you dare buy it?

A Carolina Reaper chilli (image: Tesco)
A Carolina Reaper chilli (image: Tesco)

Right in the middle of the warmest spell of weather this year, UK food fans are bracing their tastebuds for a fiery blast.

The Carolina Reaper, the hottest pepper in the world, goes on sale in Tesco today (Wednesday).

How does the Carolina Reaper chilli compare to others?
How does the Carolina Reaper chilli compare to others?

Indeed, it’s so hot that it appears in the Guinness Book of Records, and customers are advised to wear gloves when preparing it.

The Carolina Reaper is rated at 1.5m on the Scoville scale – the official measurement unit of a chilli’s raw power. However, another test has it at a colossal 2.2m.

By way of comparison, a jalapeño - one of those nippy little peppers you possibly pick off your nachos - weighs in at a mere 3,500. The Scotch bonnet, which was once feared by all but the most committed chilli fans, has a rating of 350,000 Scoville units, at most a quarter of the new champion’s strength.

Until recently, the most powerful pepper was the Komodo Dragon - launched last year, again by Tesco, its Scoville rating is 1.4m units. Despite its strength, it has become the supermarket’s most popular chilli.

A specialist farm in Blunham, Bedfordshire is supplying the supermarket, the first time the pepper has been grown commercially in the UK.

Tesco chilli pepper buyer Phoebe Burgess said: “The Carolina Reaper is absolute meltdown material – it’s one for absolute hot food connoisseurs.

“Despite it being astonishingly hot it also has a wonderful fruity taste. Only a sliver is needed to add exciting flavour to your favourite curry.”

But grower Salvatore Genovese added: “The fantastic success of the Komodo Dragon proved that Brits are among the world’s greatest lovers of chilli peppers. But I wonder if the Carolina Reaper will test British palates just a touch too much?”


Iliffe Media does not moderate comments. Please click here for our house rules.

People who post abusive comments about other users or those featured in articles will be banned.

Thank you. Your comment has been received and will appear on the site shortly.


Terms of Comments

We do not actively moderate, monitor or edit contributions to the reader comments but we may intervene and take such action as we think necessary, please click here for our house rules.

If you have any concerns over the contents on our site, please either register those concerns using the report abuse button, contact us here.

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies - Learn More