Wednesday, March 24, 2010

How I learned to stop worrying and love the chili

This from the Associated Press: the Indian military plans to use the bhut jolokia ("ghost chili") - the world's hottest chili pepper - as a weapon. For comparison's sake:

  • the jalapeño chili wimps out at a mere 8,000 Scoville units.
  • Tabasco sauce tops out at an anemic 50,000 Scovilles.
  • The mighty habanero, long feared by me and almost anyone else who values his or her mouth, registers at a mere 350,000 at the max (typically only 100,000).
  • And the bhut jolokia? About 1,000,000 Scovilles. That's anywhere from 3 to 10 times as intense as any habanero you might pick up at your local supermarket.
  • Very very few things are hotter than the bhut jolokia, but nothing that you'd deliberately put in your mouth: pepper spray is about 5,000,000 Scovilles - about 5 times as hot as the bhut jolokia. But you're not going to eat that.
I just love the photo that's circulating with the AP story, taken in 2007 by Manish Swarup:

Gotta have chilis!

Perhaps this gentleman, identified as farmer Digonta Saikia from Assam state, India, can take the heat. As for me? Um, I'll get back to you on that.


Mairead said...

Errr...okaaaaay, then. I think the chili warfare could be a potentially world-ending weapon, especially if paired with Monty Python's World's Funniest Joke. Think of the damage!

Seriously, though, are they using this demon chili as an uber-pepper spray, or just sneaking it into te other side's food?