You might be a pepperhead if …you are interested in all foods spicy, and especially in the peppers that provide the spice. Nevertheless, whether you are passionate about chili peppers or just interested in some information about them, you are in the right place. There are wide arrays of hot peppers available. Some are well known, others not so much. The Infinity Chili, however, should definitely be on your list of peppers that are noteworthy.Engineered by English chili breeder Nick Woods and grown in Grantham, UK, the Infinity Chili Pepper is red, small in size, and very wrinkly looking. It received its name from the never-ending burning taste that is almost impossible to soothe. Admittedly, it does not look very attractive, but in 2011, it achieved the honor of being named the world’s hottest pepper. Unfortunately, the Infinity Chili only held this Guinness World Record title for two weeks before the Naga Viper Pepper replaced it in the ranking.
In order to qualify for the title of hottest pepper in the world, the pepper is tested using the Scoville Organoleptic Test. An American pharmacist by the name of Wilbur Lincoln Scoville developed this method in 1912 to determine the relative spiciness of peppers. Capsaicin, a chemical that is present in hot peppers is responsible for their hot taste. The higher the level of capsaicin, the hotter the taste of the pepper seems. This level is measured in units called Scoville Heat Units (SHU) on the Scoville Scale, which ranges from zero to 16 million. Mild bell peppers are at a zero level of capsaicin, while pure capsaicin is at the highest level of 16,000,000.
When tested, the Infinity Chili received a rating of 1,176,182. That is very impressive considering jalapenos only have a rating of 2,500 to 10, 000. Most hot peppers that are up for the title of hot peppers nowadays are a creation of clever breeders, which manipulate the capsaicin level in the little spicy vegetable. Why do people aim to make chili peppers hotter and hotter to the taste? Nobody can say for sure. The fact that the spice in peppers does not only create that familiar burning sensation but also triggers the brain to release endorphins might have something to do with it. Endorphins are groups of hormones that make you feel good. Besides, receiving the title of hottest pepper in the world is also a nice incentive for pepper enthusiasts.
If you like to grow peppers, you are in luck! Seeds of the never ending pepper are available for sale, and you can use them just like you would other chili peppers in salsa, soup, and of course chili and hot sauce. Peppers can be frozen, roasted, pickled, and dried. They will not lose their spiciness during the process. Enjoy your peppers, and keep the Infinity Chili in mind.
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Photo Credit: LA Times