Pepper X is the world’s new hottest pepper, clocking in at a whopping 3.18 million Scoville heat units (SHUs). That’s more than three times hotter than the Carolina Reaper, the previous record holder.
Pepper X was bred by Ed Currie, the owner of PuckerButt Pepper Company in Fort Mill, South Carolina. Currie has been breeding peppers for over 30 years, and he says that Pepper X is the hottest pepper he’s ever created.
“It’s so hot, it’s almost dangerous,” Currie told CNN. “You have to be really careful when handling it.”
Pepper X is so hot because it contains a high concentration of capsaicin, the compound that gives chili peppers their heat. Capsaicin binds to TRPV1 receptors in the mouth, which sends a signal to the brain that the mouth is burning.
The heat from Pepper X can be so intense that it can cause burns to the skin and eyes. It’s important to wear gloves and eye protection when handling this pepper.
Currie says that Pepper X is so hot that it’s not really meant to be eaten whole. Instead, he recommends using it to make hot sauces and other condiments.
“It’s a great way to add a little heat to your food,” he said. “But be careful, it’s very potent.”
If you’re brave enough to try Pepper X, you can purchase it from PuckerButt Pepper Company’s website. Just be sure to have a glass of milk handy in case things get too hot.