The Naga Morich is currently one of the hottest chili peppers available. It is also known as the snake or serpent chili and ranks at a blistering 1,598,227 units on the Scoville scale. This makes the serpent chili 300 times hotter than the common Jalapeno pepper and 3 times the power of a Red Savina Habanero.
Genetically, the serpent chili is closely related to both the Ghost pepper (Bhut Jolokia) and the Dorset Naga. The serpent chili is native to the Northeast region of India and is commonly found in Bangladesh. As with many varieties of these Chinese species this exceptionally hot chili Pepper has made its way to the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia mainly for use in the production of hot sauce. Interestingly in Finland the serpent chili is available as a fresh item in supermarkets.
Taste and Smell
The serpent chili is said to have a fantastic aroma combined with a fruity taste. A word of caution if you are going to attempt to eat the serpent chili, it has a delayed heat profile that makes it easy to eat too much too quickly. If you make this mistake you will surely pay the price! Similar to the ghost pepper the serpent chili is said to have a slightly tart yet sweet taste along with earthy, smoky undertones. These flavors make the serpent chili perfect for brave individuals who want to bring a new heat level to their grilling, smoking, and barbecuing.
Traditionally the Bangladeshi people will impart the heat of the serpent chili into their culinary dishes by cutting open one of the immature, green chilies and rubbing it on to the foods they are preparing. This gives their recipes a much more subtle dose of the serpent chili. The less mature, green chilies are thought to have a much tarter, fresh taste than the sweeter, more mature red chilies. As with any pepper that gets this many Scoville heat units (SHU) less is more. You can tame some of the heat by removing the membranes and seeds, but you have to be willing to have a scorching hot dish if you are going to attempt to cook with the notorious and feared serpent chili.
It stands to reason that any pepper with over 1 million SHU’s deserves a fair amount of respect. It pays to be extremely cautious with this exceptionally hot pepper if you are going to be using it to cook with or if you are going to attempt to cultivate it yourself. Always make use of gloves when handling this pepper and never accidentally get it near your eyes, nose, or mouth. For chili lovers the serpent chili takes things to a whole new level of heat, proceed with caution and enjoy.
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