Pepper X, created by Ed Currie, has been officially recognised as the world’s hottest chili by Guinness World Records, surpassing the Carolina Reaper, another chili variety also developed by Currie. This achievement marks Ed Currie’s breaking of his own record in the field.
The journey to Pepper X’s fiery distinction was a decade-long endeavour, involving ten years of experimentation and development. This extensive timeline encompassed five years dedicated to validating Pepper X as a distinct plant species with unique fruit characteristics, all while meticulously documenting its average spiciness. Pepper X is a hybrid resulting from the fusion of the Carolina Reaper and a mysteriously classified “brutally hot” pepper from Michigan, provided by a friend of Currie.
Ed Currie’s first hand experience with Pepper X’s heat is noteworthy, as he is one of only five individuals who have consumed an entire Pepper X. He vividly describes enduring three and a half hours of intense heat, followed by excruciating cramps that left him incapacitated for about an hour, even in the pouring rain.
The inception of Pepper X traces back to Currie’s previous record-holder, the Carolina Reaper, in 2013. In stark contrast to its predecessor, Pepper X boasts a greenish-yellow appearance, lacks the visual appeal of the Carolina Reaper’s bright red, knobby fruit, and delivers an earthy flavor alongside its searing heat.
The intensity of a chili’s spiciness is attributed to a compound known as capsaicin. It is measured in Scoville heat units, a scale based on the capsaicin concentration. A regular jalapeno pepper registers approximately 5,000 Scoville units, whereas a habanero, a former record-holder about 25 years ago, typically exceeds 100,000 units. The Guinness Book of World Records acknowledges the Carolina Reaper at 1.64 million units, while Pepper X sets a new record with an average of 2.69 million units. Winthrop University in South Carolina conducted tests over the past four years to determine this scorching Scoville score.
Ed Currie, the founder of the Puckerbutt Pepper Company located in Fort Mill, South Carolina, unveiled Pepper X during an episode of the popular YouTube show Hot Ones. Despite this remarkable achievement, Currie is already immersed in developing his next potentially record-breaking chili variety.
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