Originally Posted by kitchenmagician
Bhut jolokia is hottest pepper in the world !!!, 401 times hotter than tabasko !!!
I've heard the same said about the "ghost" peppers, or in milder times about the habanero peppers.
What practical difference does it make to professional and amateur/home chefs which is hottest? I've already made my opinion clear in this topic that for heat alone you can just add as much chili sauce as you like to achieve any desired hotness, including 'too hot,' 'very too much hot,' and 'black hole hot so strong that it sucks the rest of the universe into a black hole and destroys all reality.'
It doesn't matter what the hottest chilis are. What matters is the chili sauce you use, how much you add to get the desired hotness, and what other taste dimensions your sauce provides.
The same applies to ingredients, for example chilpotle peppers in adobo sauce. These are smoked jalapeño peppers in a vinegar + garlic + other herbs and tomatoes, onions, etc. sauce. This sauce is not particularly spicy to those used to Southwestern cuisine. The reason this condiment is so popular is because it is so dimensional. It adds taste dimensions that the hotness of capsicum cannot supply.
Mere hotness can supply only one dimension: hotness. You can always add more hotness to any recipe. The challenge is to add taste dimensionality. A simplistic way of looking at it is to add capsicum to achieve hotness, and then add dimensionality via other ingredients. I believe that skilled chefs add the hotness and taste dimensionality at the same time by choosing their ingredients and which chili sauces they employ.
BTW chilis are not peppers. This was a mistake made in the 15th century when New World chilis were imported to the Old World, and the chilis most resembled their extant pepper varieties. Chilis are in the genus Capsicum
. Peppers are in the genus Piper
. (Some peppers are genus Pimenta
.) Both can be spicy and hot depending on species.