HOT STUFF

THE CHILLI PEP­PER IS AN IN­DIS­PENS­ABLE PART OF ASIAN CUI­SINE. AS ANY­ONE WHO HAS AC­CI­DEN­TALLY EATEN A BIRD’S EYE CHILLI WILL KNOW, SOME VA­RI­ETIES CAN BLOW YOUR TOP OFF. HOW HOT IS TOO HOT?

Asian Geographic - - Picturesque -

The Scov­ille scale is the means of mea­sur­ing how hot a chilli pep­per is. It mea­sures the con­cen­tra­tion of cap­saicin, the chem­i­cal com­pound that pro­duces the heat sen­sa­tion. The scale was in­vented by phar­ma­cist Wil­bur L. Scov­ille (1865–1942), and al­lo­cates a mea­sur­able unit of spici­ness, called a Scov­ille heat unit (SHU). These rat­ings are de­ter­mined by the Scov­ille organolep­tic test. Cap­saicin oil is ex­tracted from the pep­per, and is then in­cre­men­tally di­luted with sugar wa­ter. A panel of five (brave!) testers sam­ple the con­coc­tion un­til they can no longer taste the spici­ness.it’s not a fool-proof method, as each per­son has a dif­fer­ent taste ex­pe­ri­ence.

The Scovi l l e Scale

Aleppo Pep­per At about 10,000 SHU, the Aleppo pep­per, also re­ferred to as the Hal­aby pep­per, gets its name from the an­cient city of Aleppo in Syria. It is also com­monly grown in Turkey. It is usu­ally dried and crushed. Jwala Fin­ger Hot chilli pep­per Mea­sur­ing be­tween 20,000 and 30,000 SHU, the Jwala is one of the most pop­u­lar chillis in In­dia, and is fre­quently added to In­dian dishes for flavour – and spice. Gun­tur San­nam chilli pep­per Clock­ing in at 35,000 to 40,000 SHU, the Gun­tur San­nam chilli is grown in and around Gun­tur in the state of Andhra Pradesh in In­dia. San­taka chilli pep­per From Ja­pan, the San­taka chili pep­per is a hot and flavour­ful Asian va­ri­ety. At 40,000 to 50,000 SHU, it is com­monly used in stir-fries. Tien Ts in pep­per The Tien Tsin is named after the prov­ince in China where it was orig­i­nally har­vested. It mea­sures in at be­tween 50,000 and 75,000 SHU. Bird’s Eye chilli At be­tween 50,000 and 100,000 SHU, the tiny bird’s eye chilli is com­monly found in Cam­bo­dia, Viet­nam, Thai­land, and the Philip­pines – but it’s ex­ported all over the world. It’s dy­na­mite in a small pack­age! Ja­maican Hot pep­per ( 100,000– 200,000 SHU) Na­tive to th e Caribbean Ch i ltepi n ch i l l i pep­per ( 50,000– 100,000 SHU) Na­tive to south­ern North Amer­ica and north­ern South Amer­ica Bas Thai chilli pep­per There is no sin­gle “Thai chilli pep­per”, although most within this fam­ily of 79 vie for the ti­tle. They are all small and rather hot, at be­tween 50,000 and 100,000 SHU. Dundi­cut chilli pep­per At be­tween 55,000 and 65,000 SHU, these tiny round chilli pep­pers from Pak­istan are sim­i­lar in size and flavour to the spicy Scotch bon­net pep­per, but they are of a dif­fer­ent species, and are not quite as hot. Yat­sa­fusa chilli pep­per Also known as the Ja­panese chilli ow­ing to their ori­gins, this 75,000 SHU chilli comes from a small plant with a yel­low flower – but don’t let that fool you. They’re as hot as Hades! Tabiche chilli pep­per Orig­i­nally from In­dia, the Tabiche pep­per can now be found grow­ing world­wide and of­ten year-round, but it does best in hot, dry cli­mates. It ranges be­tween 85,000 to 115,000 SHU. Scotch bon­net At 100,000 to 350,000 SHU, this pep­per is among the hottest pep­pers any­where. It ap­pears in the Car­ribean and in Guyana – and the Mal­dives. Naga Jolokia ( Ghost Chilli/ Co­bra Chilli) This was once the hottest chilli pep­per in the world, ac­cord­ing to the Guin­ness­bookof­worl­drecords. Its ori­gins are in the As­sam re­gion of In­dia and neigh­bour­ing Bangladesh. With a Scov­ille rat­ing of over 1 mil­lion, it’s not for the faint-hearted!

Asia’s Con­tenders

Workers ar­range longevity noo­dles on bam­boo sticks to dry in the sun

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