As for the purity of the Chocolate Bhut Jolokia, an analysis of the DNA finds it to be a mix of the peppers Capsicum frutescens and Capsicum chinense, mostly C. chinense. Randomly selected strains of the ghost pepper exhibit a wide range of characteristics in fruit size, color, pod shape, and rough and smooth skin. The chocolate variety is an example of a variation of the Bhut Jolokia. The color is brown, and the taste is noticeably sweeter than other variations, but the primary characteristics remain the same.
At the New Mexico State University Chili Pepper Institute, Bhut Jolokia pepper plants were grown from seed and when harvested, measured an SHU of 1,001,304. Of all the regions that grow Chocolate Bhut Jolokia, however, not all can measure up to the high standard of one million. In the Tezpur region of Assam, India, the arid climate produces the Bhut Jolokia with heat units at only 50% of those grown in more ideal conditions. Other institutes in India have measured the SHU of the pepper as low as 329,100. Consequently, how and where grown has a dramatic impact on the spiciness of the Chocolate Bhut Jolokia.
For such an excruciatingly hot pepper, these have an incredibly sweet and fruity smell. We have grown several batches here and these have become on of our favorite peppers!
Uses For Chocolate Bhuts
So what does all this mean to the end user, the chili pepper lover? Other than the headline-grabbing contests in which contestants vie for the honor of eating the hottest peppers on earth, or as the main ingredient in self-defense pepper spray, the Bhut Jolokia is found in kitchens as a spice and food. Not only does it impart a distinctive spiciness to curries, pickles, and chutneys, but it also is used in combination with pork and dried fish.
It has long been known the health benefits of capsaicin. Incorporated into skin creams, it has been used to alleviate arthritic and muscle pain, and now researchers have found that capsaicin dramatically reduces the size of tumors in mice. As the world’s hottest pepper, further research is being conducted on the efficacy of the ghost pepper in medicine.
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