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Old 07-20-2011, 10:48 PM   #1
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So-called "ghost chiles"

I've seen these on tv & remembered reading a bit about them a few years ago so I read a bit on Wiki. It turns out "Bhut Jolokia" (aka Naga Jolokia depending on where they come from) means "chili pepper from the hills next to Bhutan" & nothing else! I mean at least if the word of the native speakers of Assamese who developed the pepper is anything to go by.

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An article in the Asian Age newspaper stated that experts in Assam are worried about a distortion of the colloquial nomenclature of "Bhot" to "bhut", saying that this word was misinterpreted by the (Western) media to mean "ghost". The article stated that people living north of the Brahmaputra River call the pepper "Bhot jolokia", "Bhot" meaning "of Bhotiya origin", or something that has come from the hills of adjoining Bhutan; on the southern bank of the river Brahmaputra, this chili becomes Naga jolokia, believed to have originated from the hills of Nagaland. An alternative source for Naga jolokia is that the name originates from the ferocious Naga warriors who once inhabited Nagaland.
Bhut Jolokia chili pepper - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(dead links in the references though)

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Old 07-20-2011, 11:42 PM   #2
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Wait, a foreign name bastardized to send chills/excite/draw/attract people to something that would normally be lack luster?? SAY IT ISN'T SO! THAT NEVER HAPPENS!
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Old 07-20-2011, 11:52 PM   #3
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the hottest chiles ever grown are lackluster?
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Old 07-20-2011, 11:57 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baking fool View Post
the hottest chiles ever grown are lackluster?

No, I am simply referring to the sensationalism in the name. . .as stated in you OP.
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Old 07-21-2011, 12:16 AM   #5
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Anyway I don't think it was meant to be sensationalistic, it was just a mistranslation of the original name that is being propagated in the US. Bhut must be similar to the Assamese word for ghost.
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Old 07-21-2011, 12:25 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baking fool View Post
Anyway I don't think it was meant to be sensationalistic, it was just a mistranslation of the original name that is being propagated in the US. Bhut must be similar to the Assamese word for ghost.
once again, not a rare occurring.

The pepper is a beast, I will say that. I think at one time, it was used(well, it's extracts were used) in chemical warfare.

I love spice, but I love flavor. Having only one run in wit a ghost pepper, I can say it is just silly. A novelty. There is no reason something that hot needs to be consumed, besides for bragging rights, imo.

Will be interesting to see what the next couple of years bring, as new strains are always on the horizon. We can hope they won't bastardize the name too.
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Old 07-21-2011, 12:13 PM   #7
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I grow many of the hottest peppers in the world. I'll list them at the end of this post.

----

From Wiki, and it is accurate as of now:

In 2007, Guinness World Records certified the Bhut Jolokia as the world's hottest chili pepper, 401.5 times hotter than Tabasco sauce.

On December 3, 2010, the Bhut Jolokia was replaced as the hottest known chili pepper by the Naga Viper pepper, which has an average peak Scoville rating more than 300,000 points higher than an average Bhut Jolokia - but still not higher than the hottest ever recorded Dorset Naga.

In February 2011, Guinness World Records awarded the title of "World's Hottest Chili" to the Infinity chili grown in Grantham, England. This chili rates at 1,067,286 units on the Scoville scale. Later the same month, on February 25, 2011, the title returned to the Naga Viper pepper with a rating of 1,382,118 Scoville Heat Units (SHU).

The current "world's hottest" is the Trinidad Scorpion Butch T, officially tested at 1,463,700 SHU.

----

The way these peppers are used in thier native countries is by either adding them to a substantial amount of stew, as with the "Trinidad 7-Pot" which will season "7 Pots of Stew", or by slicing the pepper open, removing the placenta and rubbing the butterflied pepper onto the outside of a roast prior to cooking it. This can be done by simply spot daubing or if tolerance to the capsaicin is high, by rubbing it on the entire roast.

----
From Wiki:
Capsaicin is the active component of chili peppers, which are plants belonging to the genus Capsicum. It is an irritant for mammals, including humans, and produces a sensation of burning in any tissue with which it comes into contact. Capsaicin and several related compounds are called capsaicinoids and are produced as a secondary metabolite by chili peppers, probably as deterrents against certain herbivores and fungi. Pure capsaicin is a hydrophobic, colorless, odorless, crystalline to waxy compound.
----

Birds are unaffected by capsaicin.

The same nerve endings in mammals that react to the surface pain of sunburn or scraping are the ones that also react in the mucous membranes to create the sensation of heat.

These peppers are NOT meant to be eaten "as is" or cooked into small quantities of food. They are simply too spicy.

Capsaicin is also used after extraction, in pepper spray in military and civilian police forces. It's also used in India by rubbing it on fence rails to dissuade elephants from entering fields and villages. The Indian government has also included it into small smoke grenades to deter elephants.

I grow and use:

1. Red Savina (800,000 on Scoville Scale)
2. Trinidad Scorpion (1.1 million)
3. Trinidad 7-Pot (1.1 million)
4. South African Fatalli (1 million)
5. Bhut Jolokia (1.1 million)
6. Naga Dorset (1.3 million)
7. St. Augustine Florida Datil (300,000)

These peppers are NOT used for flavor in anything. They are used as a way to spice up a dish without altering the intended flavor of the recipe.

The hottest peppers are used by the commercial food industry for spicing up many BBQ flavored items commonly found in stores. This only makes sense if you think about it.

Many thousands of tons of dehydrated pepper powder are used annually in the world for inclusion into prepared foods. These tons of powder have to be dehydrated, packaged and shipped all over the world. It only makes sense to use the hottest that are available and thus reduce shipping and handling costs.

The next time you eat some spicy food that lists a generic "Hot Peppers" on the label, you've probably just eaten one of the hottest peppers in the world, but in a quantity that makes sense.

If you want to end the hotness of a pepper, use a milk product. There are many "old wives tales" about how to stop the heat of a hot pepper, but scientifically, a chemical in milk products actually gets between the nerve ending and the capsaicin and allows the capsaicin to move along into the digestive tract. The best way is to drink some whole milk or cream and "swish" it around your mouth before either spitting it out or swallowing it.

If you use a strong alcoholic drink to do this, it won't do anything to stop the heat, but it will make you stop caring about it.
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Old 07-21-2011, 12:23 PM   #8
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I like watching those fools on Youtube eating Ghosts and Habs....I have eaten a whole raw hab before, I love the flavor, but the worst part was my lips burning.
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Old 07-21-2011, 12:30 PM   #9
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I like watching those fools on Youtube eating Ghosts and Habs....I have eaten a whole raw hab before, I love the flavor, but the worst part was my lips burning.
I put the folks who eat whole Bhuts and the like with those who swim in ice water for fun. People looking for attention by doing stupid things.

I wear surgical gloves and safety glasses when handling my peppers and messing with them on the bush. God help anyone who doesn't and then uses the bathroom.
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Old 07-21-2011, 12:32 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timothy View Post
...These peppers are NOT meant to be eaten "as is" or cooked into small quantities of food. They are simply too spicy.

...These peppers are NOT used for flavor in anything. They are used as a way to spice up a dish without altering the intended flavor of the recipe...

Commercial food products aside, what's the point? No flavor just heat. It becomes a competition among a group of people intent on proving they can eat a hotter pepper than anyone else.

Reminds me of the old joke: What are a redneck's last words? "Oh yeah? Watch this..."
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Old 07-21-2011, 12:40 PM   #11
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Commercial food products aside, what's the point? No flavor just heat. It becomes a competition among a group of people intent on proving they can eat a hotter pepper than anyone else.

Reminds me of the old joke: What are a redneck's last words? "Oh yeah? Watch this..."
You are aware that millions upon millions of people in the world like to spice up their foods, right?

That *is* the point.

Some like to do so without affecting the intended flavor of a recipe.
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Old 07-21-2011, 12:52 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Timothy View Post
You are aware that millions upon millions of people in the world like to spice up their foods, right?

That *is* the point.

Some like to do so without affecting the intended flavor of a recipe.
I'm one of those millions. I like heat and flavor in my food. You said in your earlier post that the chilies provide no flavor and are not meant for small quantities of food. That's why I said 'commercial production aside, what's the point'.

There is a wide variety of chiles that provide heat and flavor in a form that is manageable for a home cooking sized recipe.

I believe the hottest pepper in the world "thing" has become a competition that's judged on SHUs only and not as a practical food item.

I realize it's just my opinion and others won't agree. Just taking the opportunity to express myself.
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Old 07-21-2011, 01:18 PM   #13
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I'm one of those millions. I like heat and flavor in my food. You said in your earlier post that the chilies provide no flavor and are not meant for small quantities of food. That's why I said 'commercial production aside, what's the point'.

There is a wide variety of chiles that provide heat and flavor in a form that is manageable for a home cooking sized recipe.

I believe the hottest pepper in the world "thing" has become a competition that's judged on SHUs only and not as a practical food item.

I realize it's just my opinion and others won't agree. Just taking the opportunity to express myself.
I understand, however, I have to re-emphasize the importance to some in *not* altering the intended flavors of a recipe by using any type of pepper that has a low enough heat scale to actually add flavor to a recipe. Many want the proven flavors of a recipe left entirely alone and only some spice added to the dish.

The "hottest pepper in the world thing" is something that makes literal billions of dollars for the winner, for the reasons I stated in an earlier post.

It's financially based, not ego based as you seem to think.

I also posted the practical methods used to apply this type of pepper. It's used daily by millions of people in India and other countries.

I fully understand that your opinion is absolutely your own and in no way is meant as a downgrading of others opinions.

This is only food talk! I'm certainly not upset!
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Old 07-21-2011, 01:24 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Timothy View Post
...I fully understand that your opinion is absolutely your own and in no way is meant as a downgrading of others opinions.

This is only food talk! I'm certainly not upset!
Me too.
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Old 07-21-2011, 01:30 PM   #15
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I agree with Andy. If the peppers have no flavor why use them? Why not add liquid capcaisin?

I grow red savina habaneros in my little garden every year and use them because they are both hot (blistering) and very tasty.
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Old 07-21-2011, 05:17 PM   #16
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I agree with Andy. If the peppers have no flavor why use them? Why not add liquid capsaicin?
If you've ever priced liquid capsaicin, you'd know that it's incredibly expensive. 4ml for $120. It has a nasty taste as well.

It's also crazy strong. Like 16 million on the Scoville Scale.

The peppers cost nothing if you grow them yourself.

Let's put it this way; you have a recipe for something that tastes fantastic as it is. However, being a person who likes spicy foods, you want to spice up the recipe to a higher level to suit you. However, you don't want to add or subtract any flavor from the dish that you love so much.

Then, adding spice by adding a TINY bit of one of the very hot peppers does just that. It makes the dish spicier, but doesn't alter the original flavor of the recipe, because that amount of that pepper has no discernible flavor that will be tasted in any recipe.

So when you say; "If the peppers have no flavor why use them?", then I've just given you the real life reason that it's done.

I can't believe that this concept is so hard for some folks to understand.

No offence meant to anyone. I just seems so very clear to me.
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Old 07-21-2011, 08:31 PM   #17
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Where are you finding your capsaicin for $120/4ml? I have not priced it in years, but the last time I was in Maine at my favorite hot sauce store they had it for $10. I don't recall the quantity, but I think it was a test tube size bottle. As you mentioned it is 16 million so you only need a drop for a huge amount of food. For less food you could probably even dip a toothpick in and swipe that through your food. A little bottle will last you forever.

Using a pepper to add heat without flavor you end up wasting most of the pepper. I would rather use the space in my garden to grow something I will get more use out of.
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Old 07-21-2011, 09:25 PM   #18
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Where are you finding your capsaicin for $120/4ml? I have not priced it in years, but the last time I was in Maine at my favorite hot sauce store they had it for $10. I don't recall the quantity, but I think it was a test tube size bottle. As you mentioned it is 16 million so you only need a drop for a huge amount of food. For less food you could probably even dip a toothpick in and swipe that through your food. A little bottle will last you forever.

Using a pepper to add heat without flavor you end up wasting most of the pepper. I would rather use the space in my garden to grow something I will get more use out of.
My goodness, I've never heard so many reasons to not try something new.

These peppers freeze well. You can also use an ice cube tray to store small amounts after blending one chili and filling a couple trays with the water/chili mix. Then just use one ice cube in a dish.

Here's a 4ml bottle of crystals for $119 (good deal)
16 Million PURE Capsaicin Crystals, 4.0ml.

Another 4ml bottle for $210
Amazon.com: 16 Million PURE Capsaicin Crystals, 4.0ml. Kit - Limited Quantities!: Everything Else

And a 1ml bottle for $99
Amazon.com: 16 Million PURE Capsaicin Crystals, 1ml. Kit - Limited Quantities!: Everything Else

Your $10 bottles aren't pure 16 million capsaicin. It's probably an extract at about 500,000 scoville.

Both the extract and the pure crystals are nasty tasting. I know of no one who thinks otherwise after tasting them.

There is a HUGE difference between the crystals and the extracts. The extracts can be as little as 100K scoville.

What was the scoville rating for the $10 stuff you found in the hot sauce store?
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Old 07-21-2011, 09:33 PM   #19
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It was pure capsaicin. You had to sign a waiver to buy it. It came with a page of warnings and came in a glass test tube inside another container inside a 3rd container plastered with warnings. It was about 15 years ago so I can not tell you the exact specifics, but 16 million does sound right. I know it was definitely in the multi millions.

I am not saying not to try the peppers. I have had some that blew my head off and I can handle quite a bit of heat. I eat jalapenos like candy. I just do not see the point, for me, to use a pepper that is sooooo hot that it is not enjoyable just to get some heat without flavor. If it works for you or others then go for it.
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Old 07-21-2011, 09:38 PM   #20
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It was pure capsaicin. You had to sign a waiver to buy it. It came with a page of warnings and came in a glass test tube inside another container inside a 3rd container plastered with warnings. It was about 15 years ago so I can not tell you the exact specifics, but 16 million does sound right. I know it was definitely in the multi millions.

I am not saying not to try the peppers. I have had some that blew my head off and I can handle quite a bit of heat. I eat jalapenos like candy. I just do not see the point, for me, to use a pepper that is sooooo hot that it is not enjoyable just to get some heat without flavor. If it works for you or others then go for it.
If it were possible for you to find that deal again, buy all you can. You can make a fortune reselling it to pepper-heads on sites like "The Hot Pepper Forum".

It's cool that there are so many types of people. Many like one thing, others don't care for it. It would be a boring world if we all liked the same stuff.

Thanks for being so patient with my persistence.
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