The New Hotness
May 23, 2011 7:03 PM   Subscribe

Only downsides I see are that the peppers are so small and the grueling stomach pain. The Trinidad Scorpion Butch T measures a record 1,463,700 Scoville Heat Units - about 7 times hotter than a habanero. (related)
posted by Trurl (103 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
Do they taste good?
posted by furiousxgeorge at 7:13 PM on May 23, 2011 [2 favorites]

That's not food, that's a weapon.
posted by Old'n'Busted at 7:15 PM on May 23, 2011

Don't all scorpion butches taste good?
posted by eriko at 7:16 PM on May 23, 2011 [4 favorites]

The eating of a good pepper is a lot like a successful marriage.
posted by greasy_skillet at 7:17 PM on May 23, 2011 [1 favorite]

you would think that with one million + whatever heat units his head would burst into flame.

Personally, I'm disappointed.
posted by tomswift at 7:18 PM on May 23, 2011

posted by phaedon at 7:23 PM on May 23, 2011

Needs the LIKE A BOSS tag. That dude is a G for handling it as well as he did.
posted by bayani at 7:23 PM on May 23, 2011 [3 favorites]

The eating of a good pepper is a lot like a successful marriage.

You mean, it's great tasting and kind of sweaty at the beginning, but then later it wakes you up at 3am for repeated sessions of screaming, praying, and begging that someday it will soon pass, followed by a full-body flush and a linger pain around one's anus when it finally is gone?
posted by hippybear at 7:24 PM on May 23, 2011 [31 favorites]

That's not food, that's a weapon.

Nah, pepper spray is about 3.6 times as many scoville units as even these things.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:25 PM on May 23, 2011

One of the comments on the linked page made me laugh a little.
I have seen foreign visitors who think they can eat hot peppers try my scorpions (peppers) and beg for medical help.
It sounds so tempting!
posted by empyrean at 7:26 PM on May 23, 2011

The Dorset Naga (Capsicum chinensis), a Bangledeshi variety of the bhut jolokia, has been measured at 1,598,227 SHU, the hottest heat level ever recorded for a chili.
posted by crunchland at 7:32 PM on May 23, 2011 [1 favorite]

Do they taste good?

Marcel De Wit, one of the developers, says it's "like eating a fruit salad that's on fire".
posted by Trurl at 7:33 PM on May 23, 2011 [5 favorites]

If you're going to be pepper tasting, I'd keep an ice cold thick vanilla milk shake on hand to put out the flames. Especially once it hits your stomach and you're in pain writhing on the kitchen floor. Did you read his youtube followup note?
posted by marsha56 at 7:34 PM on May 23, 2011

Needs the LIKE A BOSS tag. That dude is a G for handling it as well as he did.

I thought he was doing a great Dennis Hopper impersonation: capsaicin or cocaine, you decide!
posted by at 7:36 PM on May 23, 2011

Marcel De Wit, one of the developers, says it's "like eating a fruit salad that's on fire".

That might make it more palatable than my Del Monte fruit cup flambé, but it still won't be as pretty.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 7:36 PM on May 23, 2011 [2 favorites]

ouch on your butt hole!
posted by puny human at 7:37 PM on May 23, 2011 [1 favorite]

One wonders how these guys who tape their masochistic exploits and put them up on Youtube will top themselves.
posted by crunchland at 7:39 PM on May 23, 2011

Metafilter: ouch on your butt hole!
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 7:49 PM on May 23, 2011 [2 favorites]

I have seen foreign visitors who think they can eat hot peppers try my scorpions (peppers) and beg for medical help.

I have always had a scary taste for hot foods. I have a number of little anecdotes about people trying to find something too hot for me to finish, but my favorite story about hot foods happened recently, when I finally got to try a hot sauce made from the Bhut Jolokia ghost pepper (Scoville rating of around 800,000 to 1,000,000). The store had a number of samples out of different sauces, but the ghost pepper sauce had a huge sign saying basically don't even try this. So I go over and grab a pretzel stick and take a big dip through the sauce to give it a try. It's hot. Of course. But I'm used to pretty intense heat, so I'm just standing there, kind of savoring the moment (I'd been wanting to try this stuff for years).

I didn't realize that someone was watching me. But pretty soon this total frat dude struts over. "Is that hot?" he asks. He's with his girlfriend and family.

"Yes. It is." I said, without much expression.

He grabs a pretzel, gives it a swipe through the sauce, and sticks it in his mouth.

He went ballistic. He was pretty much sobbing as he ran from the store.

Reading comprehension is so underappreciated, these days.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 7:51 PM on May 23, 2011 [28 favorites]

I don't eat shit you need to wear rubber gloves to hold.
posted by Ad hominem at 7:52 PM on May 23, 2011 [20 favorites]

Wow..Ricky Gervais does a good American accent
posted by schwa at 7:53 PM on May 23, 2011

But do they have anything on the merciless pepper of Quetzalacatenango, the Guatemalan insanity pepper?
posted by Nomyte at 8:00 PM on May 23, 2011 [15 favorites]

That's not food, that's a weapon.

You jest, but the Indian military had plans to weaponize what was briefly rated the world's hottest (@ >1 mega-Scovilles), the Bhut Jolokia pepper.
posted by Philofacts at 8:06 PM on May 23, 2011

This is because I kicked you, isn't it?
posted by isopraxis at 8:10 PM on May 23, 2011

We've grown habaneros in our garden and for some perverse reason the plants are incredibly prolific. Yeah, sorry, we simply can't use two or three dozen habaneros in a single summer.
posted by exogenous at 8:11 PM on May 23, 2011 [1 favorite]

Does something this hot even have a discernible flavor? Or is it just like, Hmm, crunchy kind of vegetal- OHMYFUCKINGODWHATISINMYMOUTH?!?!
posted by OneMonkeysUncle at 8:17 PM on May 23, 2011 [2 favorites]

I thought I liked hot food until I realized my friend likes to eat stuff like habanero jelly straight up on rice cakes like it's strawberry jam. The same habanero jelly that I used about two teaspoons to season about a 10 qt pot of really spicy chili. The same jelly that's so hot if I barely sample it on the edge of a chip I have to wash it down with a gallon of milk before I catch fire or melt. I'm pretty sure I could buy him a bottle of Dave's Insanity sauce or one of those macho 1.5 million Scoville ubersalsas and he'd probably happily try to eat it on corn chips.

We'll go out to thai places here in Seattle and ask for a #6 or #7 spicy at restaurants that only go to a 5 on their "how spicy" scale. They usually laugh at him until he very carefully explains that yes, he's very serious and no he won't send it back no matter how hot it is.

I tried one of his 6's once on a pad thai. It was good and delicious and really hot and all of that, but apparently they break out the special chilis that have seriously long, slow burns when you ask for that kind of thing. It's literally the first and only time I've ever had problems with my bathroom routine. For the next three days I'd basically plan on jumping in the shower after taking a crap just in case a chili seed invariably ended up lodged somewhere sensitive or delicate.
posted by loquacious at 8:21 PM on May 23, 2011 [3 favorites]

Do they taste good?

You get to a point with chillies where they don't have any taste at all, just pain. That said, I'm a huge fan of their Hot Chilli Wasabi Mustard, which is tremendously tasty. But then I also had the tiniest, tiniest sample of their Devil's Delirium Jolokia Paste and it gave me hiccups for a day, hiccups I could only eventually get rid of by drinking a great deal of beer and then vomiting into the garden. I guess what I'm saying is no, they likely do not taste very good at all.
posted by tumid dahlia at 8:23 PM on May 23, 2011 [6 favorites]

MetaFilter: drinking a great deal of beer and then vomiting into the garden.
posted by hippybear at 8:26 PM on May 23, 2011 [1 favorite]

Just the word 'Scoville' conjures up images of scooping out your stomach lining with a melon baller. I still loves me some peppers though.

Does anyone have any stories or know of people actually dying from eating super hot peppers? I imagine without water or some type of refreshment, these peppers would pretty much do you in if enough were ingested.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 8:27 PM on May 23, 2011

Does something this hot even have a discernible flavor? Or is it just like, Hmm, crunchy kind of vegetal- OHMYFUCKINGODWHATISINMYMOUTH?!?!

A long time ago I had a roommate who was kind of an asshole. He knew I liked spicy food and that I was also sometimes an idiot, so one day he walked up with a bag of fresh habaneros and said "Hey, you like spicy! Eat this!" and I did.

Now, I haven't actually seen a habanero in the raw at that point. I was still early 20s. My experience with hot food at that point was limited mainly to prepared foods. Hot Chinese mustards, salsas, true hot sauces, etc. I didn't really know anything about cooking at all beyond adding frozen veggies to ramen. So I popped that whole habanero into my mouth stem, seeds and all and started chewing.

I think I managed to chew about three or four times before my mouth involuntarily rejected the habanero. It just popped out, cartoon "ptooey" sound and all. Within ten seconds my lips, mouth and face were swelling and I'm on the edge of screaming. We had been standing on the front lawn of our house when this happened, so I rushed to the garden hose and just started irrigating my face. Sure, it doesn't help that much but it was slightly better than no liquid or cooling at all. After a good 5 minutes of hose I ran into the house where there wasn't any milk, so I just washed out my mouth and face with vegetable oil and salt. Three hours later I could feel my face again.

Well, the reason why he had the habaneros was because he was going to dice them up and scatter them around the planter box near our front door so neighborhood cats would stop using it as a litterbox. (I did mention he was kind of an asshole.)

So he started cutting without gloves. Then went "ow" and put on gloves. Those gloves melted so he put on 2-3 pairs, and finally finished dicing them.

About an hour later he and I and the housemates are sitting around playing video games and slacking off like we do and he leaves to go to the bathroom. And there's one of those spontaneous group pauses. No one says anything at all, but it's like everyone had the same thing on their mind, that something was about to go horribly wrong.

Moments later we here him bellowing at the top of his lungs and tearing down the shower curtain, the sound of the shower turning on and wet clothes being flung around - and everyone hanging out in the living room bursts into laughter.

I think I've written this story here before.
posted by loquacious at 8:37 PM on May 23, 2011 [27 favorites]

Yeah I had a run in with a habanero. They looked so nice at the store but those fucking things are evil, why would something like that exist in nature. Fruit I understand, animals eat them and spread the seeds, but what is the point of a habanero. Is it just for a laugh? "Oohhh look at that nice looking pepper.. Oh fuck my hand is on fire". Fuck you habanero plant, we could have been friends, we could have had a mutually beneficial relationship, you didn't have to burn me.
posted by Ad hominem at 8:55 PM on May 23, 2011 [6 favorites]

People who actually like tasty green chiles which may be hot but won't kill you should check out Berridge Farms. I order from them every year (that's the only connection I have with them), and they supply my green chile / spicy needs for a full year off of 20-25 lbs of delicious green chiles. This year we ordered 10 lbs of hot and 10 lbs of extra-hot. But they have other grades too, and there's nothing as great as Hatch Valley green chile.
posted by hippybear at 9:03 PM on May 23, 2011 [2 favorites]

I decided not to make any more hot sauces at home because I can't stand something hotter than habanero in my eyes. Thats right. Everytime I play with peppers, my hands sneak into my eyes.

So yeah, its all spectating for me now!


Reading comprehension is so underappreciated, these days.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 7:51 PM on May 23 [7 favorites +] [!]

posted by hal_c_on at 9:16 PM on May 23, 2011

I think this might be the place to finally drop a little story about my endurance for intensely mild food. Now, the majority of people like a little spice in their food but, me, I like it mild as fuck. Seriously, I get just a little bit of any kind of hot pepper at all and, I don't mean to brag, but we're talking cramps and explosive diarrhea well into the night. So, no lie, some friends and I were recently at a little Thai place in Indianapolis and we're ordering and the waiter tells us there is a scale from 1 to 5 for spiciness. And my friend, who is somewhat of a mild one himself, orders a two for his drunk man noodles. But when it comes around to me, I'm like, zero please. And the waiter is like, "Zero?" And I say yup, mild as you can make it please sir, I have a sensitive stomach. When I tucked into that pad thai I tell you it was miiiiiiiild. Like a lump of wet cardboard laced with peanuts, seriously, incredibly mild and bland. I let everyone else try it and they all agreed that it was bland to the point of inedible but I was able to finish the whole thing. I had to send back the appetizer plate of cabbagey salad though, it had some kind of peppery dressing on it.
posted by otolith at 9:18 PM on May 23, 2011 [57 favorites]

Ad hominem writes "I don't eat shit you need to wear rubber gloves to hold."

I wear gloves when dicing up hot peppers so that I don't transfer chili oils to mucus membranes like eyes and genitals. Hot pepper jelly is awesome with cheese or sausage and hot peppers make the awesomeness that is Borscht even awesomer. Eyes swelling shut for a couple days with burning pain? Less awesome.
posted by Mitheral at 9:21 PM on May 23, 2011 [1 favorite]

I don't see the point in eating something like that. At a certain point, there is no taste anymore. You can't use it in foods either, what are you going to do, puree it and dilute it to a ten thousandth, so people can stomach it? I used to eat at a Mongolian barbeque in LA, they were notorious for their hot dishes. They asked you how hot you wanted it. If you said "Hot," you got the low end of the scale. It went up to 5x, so you had to order "Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot" to get the max. A friend ordered it at 5x once, I took a taste, you couldn't taste anything but pepper. And that is kind of the point of peppers. You can use it in salsa or curry and it covers up the rancid taste of bad meat and stale vegetables.
posted by charlie don't surf at 9:24 PM on May 23, 2011

Yes, the deceivingly slow burn. The burn that is temporarily numbed by the first pitcher of beer, until half an hour later when the cumulative burn is too much to ignore. Your consumption slows to a crawl, and the wings are cold by now, but an eerie heat emanates from them. You ordered the damn Thermonuclear Sauce, so you've got to finish. Second pitcher, coldest and yellowest available please. There isn't enough celery nor ranch dressing in the world.

Ah, good times.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 9:25 PM on May 23, 2011 [1 favorite]

Sorry, that link earlier was supposed to go Here. It was our theme song at Xalapeño Charlies.
posted by Devils Rancher at 9:26 PM on May 23, 2011

His comments don't make any sense unless you enjoy being in pain:

Sides of the tongue and top back of the throat were numbing hot...Your body just hurts and you want to quit... Then my gums, bottom first then the top about 2 minutes later, just started to ache...This is definitely in my top 3 favorites...The only downsides I see are...the grueling stomach pain. The stomach pain was pretty dreadful...Pain lasted for a good 15 - 20 minutes. Most intense pain in the stomach of any chile ...It was just like you swallowed a dagger or razor blade...this is a winner.
posted by eye of newt at 9:27 PM on May 23, 2011 [1 favorite]

It went up to 5x, so you had to order "Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot" to get the max.

We've got a Thai place here that ranks their menu items by:
Very Hot
Very Hot Hot
Very Very Hot Hot

I can do Very Hot, but that's about it.
posted by Devils Rancher at 9:28 PM on May 23, 2011

I still like this woman and her fun with ghost peppers.
posted by caddis at 9:29 PM on May 23, 2011

Dude! High fives all around, welcome to the club!

My very first (like, 14 yrs old very first job) was as a cashier at a farmer's market. Before every shift we were encouraged to "walk the market," and see what was for sale that day. Since my two best friends were also hired with me, and since they were a first generation Cambodian immigrant and an Irish-Redneck with shit to prove, we inevitably hit the hot peppers every pre-work stroll.

My Cambodian friend dropped out soon enough (he always did talk the walk more than he walked it), but my ginger-headed BFF was there to take up the slack. It started with us eating raw jalapeños before work; just scarfing them down, exchanging satisfied glances and going on to remember what the PLU for starfruit was. Quickly, however, it escalated. We moved onto an epic spice-war which encompassed every aspect of our lives. We would make salads dashed with sliced ham, cheese, and lettuce, which were simply excuses to include thai peppers as garnishes.

Seriously, we once made a ramen (from humble noodle packages) that we still remember fondly as "The Death Ramen," because, most of the way through, we had to stop and admit we had gone to far with the pepper. Mind you, this is a group of kids who used to walk through the market together before work, snacking on increasingly hot peppers, until we reached the habaneros (or scotch bonnet, if they were in season), where we would each solemnly crunch down a pepper (or two) a piece, before heading off to our mundane "trying to figure out what fruit this is" jobs, content that we had survived the worst the day had thrown at us. We were content that we existed in an elite club of fiery gods.

So, yeah, once guy trying to reach his capsicum limits, is literally one man trying to touch my heart with his fiery, lipid-soluble, dangerous hand. Bhut Jolokia bless him, I hope to stand with him some day.
posted by Panjandrum at 9:31 PM on May 23, 2011 [1 favorite]

A few Valentine Days ago, I had the notorious phaal at Brick Lane Curry House. It contains the notorious ghost pepper, although in what quantity I couldn't say. It actually wasn't that bad. It tasted like a lit cigarette. I got a delightful endorphin rush. Against all logic, I'm salivating at the thought of having it again, even though the taste itself was a bit more cardboard-y than a "real meal." They gave me a certificate for my troubles.

That said, the hottest food I ever had was at a hot pot place in Queens. I asked for the spicy broth, and what they gave me was essentially the Dip from Roger Rabbit. I felt appropriately cowed after I was resorted to skimming the hot oil off the top of the broth.
posted by Sticherbeast at 9:32 PM on May 23, 2011

I can do Very Hot, but that's about it.

Yeah, that's about my level too. You know, I once told my girlfriend how I liked hot curry, so she took it as a challenge. She made a curry with some bizarre peppers from India that came packed in a tin can. I had a tiny shaving nick near my lip and of course I got some on it. I thought it tasted great, but when the side of my face started to swell up, I got a bit worried.
posted by charlie don't surf at 9:43 PM on May 23, 2011

Once you get used to the capsaicin, or a certain level of it, you do build up a tolerance. Once you have the tolerance, you can then distinguish the surprising subtle flavors of the pepper.

My uncle married a cute little lady from Surinam. She is petite and sweet, very mild mannered, really just a classic nice quiet woman. She chows down on habaneros like they were nothing, and frankly I am a little scared of her.

I can eat the habanero sauces - well, some of them - but I ain't up to eating a fresh one. Watching BeagleStorm eat that Butch T Scorpion...well, put it this way: The video was compelling - like watching a master athlete do something amazing and profoundly spiritual at the same time.
posted by Xoebe at 9:49 PM on May 23, 2011 [5 favorites]

First, who names these things? If you call your vegetable the "Butch T Trinidad Scorpion", it's a frat boy prank before it even matures.

Secondly, I don't know about this thing, and it certainly sounds pretty painful, but habaneros definitely have flavor apart from the burn. They're kind of citrus-like and actually quite delicious. If you want to get the flavor without too much burn, try adding some to a mild cream sauce of some kind.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 9:53 PM on May 23, 2011 [2 favorites]

I've fairly recently started a new medication that has been giving me problems with nausea. Because eating small amounts of food actually makes me feel temporarily better, my doctor theorized that the medication was making me react to excess stomach acid when I didn't eat enough or when I drank too much coffee (the medication also makes me tired, so my coffee consumption had skyrocketed), and recommended that I try antacids.

Meanwhile, that same week, I was actually feeling pretty decent, for a change, and had stupidly forgotten for a brief moment that I was now pathetic. I ordered a taco salad from the cafeteria and covered it in a handfull of jalepenos and a huge ladle-full of the fresh house habanero salsa that I love. Just the way I used to eat it all the time, before the bad medicine. I think you can see where this is going. I was sick for days. On the bright side, I was able to confirm the doctor's theory.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 9:54 PM on May 23, 2011

She chows down on habaneros like they were nothing, and frankly I am a little scared of her. --- My wife and I stopped at a nearby supermercado the other day, and we were stunned to see little foam packages of 2 dozen or so fresh scotch bonnets sold in the produce department. That quantity, as far as I'm concerned, is enough for several lifetimes of pepper consumption.
posted by crunchland at 10:01 PM on May 23, 2011

OH! I can't blieve I forgot to mention my very favorite hot sauce story ever!

This is how it goes:

I once had a friend who loved hot sauce, but loved attention more. One night (we were teenagers, so this may make more sense), he dared the one untouchable, beyond beautiful girl of the group to kiss him. Naturally, she said "no," and naturally he upped the stakes by offering to eat a capful of this hot sauce, if she would grace him with a kiss. He being the Casanova-type and she being th adventurous-type, the deal was sealed.

About 30 minutes later, after my friend had stopped writhing on the ground in pain, he came to claim his prize. The beautiful woman in question graciously puckered up and delivered one wonderful, once -in-a-lifetime kiss. She then stepped back, rolled her tongue around her lips, then ran for the bathroom screaming for water.

My friend, well, he insists to this day it was worth it,
posted by Panjandrum at 10:04 PM on May 23, 2011 [2 favorites]

I had no idea habaneros were considered to be that hot. Then again, I eat the hottest of everything, especially Thai food.
posted by Malice at 10:05 PM on May 23, 2011

When I lived in Madison in the early '90's, there was a hot pepper seller at the Farmer's Market every Saturday. He grew everything from green peppers to Habaneros. He also had a small bin of 'Mystery Peppers', all cross breeds and genetic anomalies, peppers that he couldn't identify. They were $0.50 each.

When you're poor, you love to cook, you love hot food, and have a taste for adventure, you look forward to Saturdays so that you can buy your one Mystery Pepper for the week to put in your chili. Sometimes, I got a dud, and it was really bland. Sometimes, it had a good flavor and tingle, and made for a tasty dish. And sometimes, I created something that could probably strip paint.

I miss Mystery Pepper Guy.
posted by spinifex23 at 10:28 PM on May 23, 2011 [7 favorites]

Yeah I had a run in with a habanero. They looked so nice at the store but those fucking things are evil, why would something like that exist in nature. Fruit I understand, animals eat them and spread the seeds, but what is the point of a habanero. Is it just for a laugh?

Actually, peppers and birds may have co-evolved to work together - birds can't taste capsaicin, and so they work to eat and then redistribute the seeds in a different spread than ground mammals.
posted by FatherDagon at 10:42 PM on May 23, 2011 [6 favorites]

Just a little heat, please. Never have been able to understand the super-hot thing. After watching a friend "who likes hot stuff" turn red, sweat buckets, cry, and have copious quantities of snot flowing from his nose because he said "yes" to an inquiry as to whether he wanted "the hot sauce" at a BBQ joint, I keep it at one star.
posted by maxwelton at 10:59 PM on May 23, 2011

I grew naga jolokias last year and came to love them.
On a bad day, you come home, eat one, deal with the pain for 10 or 15 minutes and then spend 2 hours high on the endorphins.
My idiot friends have taken up the habit. You grow to appreciate the nuances of the flavor, at least for the first minute or so. It's not a macho thing. It really is a "let's get legally high" thing. The goal is let your body deal with the pain. After it subsides, you can drink some milk if your digestive track needs that sort of thing.
The really stupid part is that the endorphins come after the searing pain and that makes you forget the pain. Then the next time you eat some, you remember again.
A couple of us independently determined that walking around in a circle with our hands over our heads is a good way to deal with the pain.

Cooking however . . . a nice spicy pepper goes well into a nam pla prik manao. Chop up a ton in some fish sauce and lime juice. Salt is the best thing to cut the heat from chiles. Milk is okay, but a pinch of salt is better. So when you use jolokias, you can actually get a little bit of heat in your Thai food. Or your cereal.

God I want one of these plants.
None of my jolok seeds germinated this year.
I've been left eating habs.
posted by Seamus at 11:14 PM on May 23, 2011 [1 favorite]

I like hot chilis and peppers. Really hot. But what I don't like is when I am eating a raw hot chili of some sort and my friend says something so funny that I laugh so hard and pass a chili piece up from my mouth through my sinuses out my nose. You do not know internal burn until you pass a hot pepper through you nose. No amount of trying to breath in water helped. I still have smell issues with my left nostril.

As for touching habernaros and then forgetting and touching your junk while peeing, I can tell you that the only thing worse than that is when you have been pulling poison ivy and forget and do the same thing. It took 3 days before that recovered and I thought I would have permanent issues, but alas, all is well there now.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 11:17 PM on May 23, 2011 [2 favorites]

It took 3 days before that recovered and I thought I would have permanent issues, but alas, all is well there now.

Yes. Alas.
posted by schwa at 11:21 PM on May 23, 2011 [4 favorites]

Whatever. It's no apocalypse pepper. (30 million Scoville units and possibly my favorite MeFi comment ever. There is no wisdom in the pepper.)
posted by massless at 11:42 PM on May 23, 2011 [5 favorites]

I had no idea habaneros were considered to be that hot.

Yeah man I like to rub one around the rim of my knob after really rough unlubed shaving stubble sex, all bleedy and torn, and I'm all "bitch this ain't even no thing!"
posted by tumid dahlia at 11:44 PM on May 23, 2011 [8 favorites]

Then I slap the cat up and down the hall. Punk-ass rodent!
posted by tumid dahlia at 11:45 PM on May 23, 2011 [8 favorites]

I'm like a third of the way through this thread and my scalp is already sweating.

I need a big bowl of white rice, butter, and copious amounts of some sort of hot sauce now.
posted by Earthtopus at 11:50 PM on May 23, 2011 [1 favorite]

It looks like Jackass for foodies.
posted by pracowity at 12:41 AM on May 24, 2011 [2 favorites]

I'm pretty sure I could buy him a bottle of Dave's Insanity sauce or one of those macho 1.5 million Scoville ubersalsas and he'd probably happily try to eat it on corn chips.

Some people are genetically different with regard to heat sensitivity. I seem to have a unique mix of genes, where I'm extremely resistant to chemical heat in my mouth and throat, but feel it pretty acutely on my lips.

My father used to talk about how he burned his mouth all the time because he didn't feel heat there, and I do the exact same thing; I eat hot pizza and burn my mouth badly enough to blister, and I don't even feel it. Fortunately, mouths heal incredibly quickly, so it doesn't inconvenience me very long, and it only ever gets a little sore. I used to feel heat normally as a kid, but sometime around age 17 or 18, all the heat nerves in my mouth just sorta stopped registering.

So I can eat blazing hot chilis without a problem, as long as I keep them off my lips. That said, there is a level past which even that armor is insufficient. I used to buy these awesome Kung Pao chicken mixes in the store, and they came with dried chilis. You were supposed to stir-fry them with the veggies and them throw them away, not eat them. They said in all capital letters on the box, DO NOT EAT THE CHILIS, but I always did anyway. Didn't bother me except once, where one was so overwhelmingly hot that it left me gasping, teary-eyed, and a little frantic. This is so unusual for me (I chomp on the habanero salsas with zero problems) that I can only imagine how bad it would have been for someone with normal heat response.

When you get your friends challenging you to chili-eating contests, it's quite possible that they don't feel the pain as much as you do. Don't get sucked into the macho bullshit. You may be playing a rigged game, because at least some people literally don't feel the heat. I'll never initiate a 'eat hot stuff' contest, because I know it's not fair, but if you start one, and you're not a genetic mutant like me, you're probably going to suffer a great deal eating food I can barely tell is hot. If you're more of a mutant than me, you may very well win; I know perfectly well that I'm resistant, but not immune.

It's just good life advice: don't play with mutants.
posted by Malor at 12:49 AM on May 24, 2011 [3 favorites]

My dick pepper is bigger hotter than your dick pepper!
posted by Goofyy at 1:32 AM on May 24, 2011 [2 favorites]

I used to be able to eat Habanero puree and once, I accidentally gave myself a couple teaspoons of Dave's insanity sauce (on swordfish, bummer). They do have flavor, both before and after the heat hits. But when the heat hits my guts it's not always pretty. Now I'm back down to the Serrano level, and I think that's as hot as I'll go ever again.

Generally I prefer the extremely mild Pepper Plant sauce to other hot sauces because of the depth of the flavor. Although, I've got a Habanero-key lime sauce from a company that's not around anymore that is quite delicious.
posted by BrotherCaine at 2:42 AM on May 24, 2011

Above a certain spicyness I just get hiccups.
posted by knapah at 3:35 AM on May 24, 2011

When I tucked into that pad thai I tell you it was miiiiiiiild.

The mark of a master chef. After decades of customers demanding "6!" on his one-to-five scale, when he saw your "Zero" order, he was like, "At last. A true challenge!"
posted by Slap*Happy at 4:57 AM on May 24, 2011 [2 favorites]

posted by tommasz at 5:04 AM on May 24, 2011

If you're not familiar with Boston's Haymarket, it's a little neighborhood at the intersection of Quincy Market, Government Center and the North End. Since the demand for hay collapsed a while ago, it's now where fruit vendors set up stalls on Friday and Saturday. The vendors are generally suppliers to restaurants and groceries, and the fruit and vegetables are the aging leftover stock that they need to get rid of to make room for next week's stock. Consequently the prices are insane. Five pounds of huge knobby carrots for a dollar, a whole box of limes for three bucks, that sort of thing.

About ten years ago, I was strolling through and saw an unbelievable deal on habanero peppers. I thought to myself "I could make my own hot sauce!" and promptly bought a half-pound for a buck or two. I walked back to my tiny apartment in the South End excited at my purchase, not realizing that I knew shit about making hot sauce. My plan was to throw the peppers into my Juiceman 2 juice extractor, mix it with juice from the limes I'd also picked up, add a bit of salt and let the stuff age in a bottle.

I walked up the three flights to my closet-sized apartment, tossed down my stuff and brought the habaneros into the kitchen. I put on a pair of washing-up gloves, cut the tops off the peppers to get rid of the stems, fired up the juicer and started tossing peppers in. It was going great!

Then I started to feel a little clearing followed by a little burning in my lungs. Then I started to feel burning on my bare arms and my face and then my eyes started to burn like a motherfucker. By the time I realized that the spinning, shredding juicer was atomizing habanero juice and filling my apartment with it, it was too late. My skin was aflame and I could see just enough through the tears to grab a bottle of vegetable oil and make my way to the shower.

I stripped off my clothes and stood in the tub rubbing vegetable oil on myself like some kind of pervert or John Ashcroft or something. The hope was that because capsaicin is fat soluble, this would remove the all-over pain that I was feeling. It didn't work very well, and I just turned on the shower and blasted my skin with cold water for a while. That worked really well, except that the burn would come back as soon as I shut the water off. The oddest thing about that part was the onset-- there was a flash of continued relief and then the burning sensation would build back up like someone was steadily turning a volume knob.

I had no choice but to leave my apartment until the air thinned, so I threw on some fresh clothes and paced the streets with reddened skin, red and runny eyes and a scowl for a while. Anyway, the point is that you shouldn't make hot sauce with a juicer.
posted by Mayor Curley at 5:23 AM on May 24, 2011 [28 favorites]

This is my favorite video of someone eating a pepper that they probably shouldn't have, although there's a whole genre of pepper-eating reaction videos out there that are surprisingly entertaining.

Is there a word for schadenfreude-by-pepper?
posted by Dr. Eigenvariable at 5:25 AM on May 24, 2011

Yeah man I like to rub one around the rim of my knob after really rough unlubed shaving stubble sex, all bleedy and torn, and I'm all "bitch this ain't even no thing!"

Some people just don't register spice on the tongue like others do. My husband can't handle even a little bit of spice. Even tomatoes make his tongue tingle, but he has geographic tongue.

Now in my eyes on the other hand, I can't even take a rub of garlic by accident. Mucous membranes are far different with spices.
posted by Malice at 5:34 AM on May 24, 2011

The eating of a good pepper is a lot like a successful marriage.

Just eat the dang peppers.

While watching this guy's video, I realized that I had started being vigilant about where I was putting my hands, trying to keep my hands away from my face, wanting to brush a stray hair out of my eyes and then jerking my hand away. I don't know what to call this sensation. Vicarious precaution?
posted by Gator at 5:37 AM on May 24, 2011 [2 favorites]

I had, for a time, a bottle of Endorphin Rush. I really liked the flavour when added to a burger. But, I have to be honest now, the problem with putting napalm in my mouth is that it's really hard to enjoy the flavours of anything else afterwards. So in deference to, and respect for, my food, I stopped putting capsaicin on things just for the sake of heat. And so the bottle of Endorphin Rush lingered in the fridge for years just being used occasionally and then not at all and eventually got tossed out when it turned grey. I was personally sorry to see it go, although I think my lower GI tract gave a little farewell convulsion, just for the memories.
posted by seanmpuckett at 5:37 AM on May 24, 2011

I don't understand the appeal of eating something that nukes all other flavours going in, and wreaks severe molten vengeance on the way out.
posted by bwg at 5:47 AM on May 24, 2011

I love hearing nerds talk about how hot they like their food and Scoville Units, as though there's some fucking high score table somewhere they can put their initials on.
posted by Legomancer at 5:51 AM on May 24, 2011

Habaneros, at least, really do have a nice flavor of their own under the heat: this great herb-y, almost floral taste that other peppers I've tried don't seem to have.

So there's a perfectly good non-macho reason to cook with them — in moderation.
posted by nebulawindphone at 6:10 AM on May 24, 2011

A geek geek!

Imagine a carnival performer providing, by webcam, a detailed description of the process of biting off a (free range) chicken's head. Substitute pepper for chicken, and serve.
posted by Clyde Mnestra at 6:32 AM on May 24, 2011

The appeal is that the heat is pleasant. I would venture a guess that the pain releases some endorphins. I've heard a theory that some people into the masochistic side of BDSM get an extra endorphin rush than regular people when experiencing pain, and this could be why they enjoy the pain so much. I could see that applying to this.

When I say the heat is pleasant, I don't mean that the burn feels good. There's just something else about it, something about the pain of the burn that is pleasant. Instead of killing the other flavors, for me, it makes my food taste better.

I have a hiatal hernia, so these days whenever I try to eat anything spicy I immediately begin to cough. My last trip to a Thai restaurant, I got the hottest dish available and while the burn was nice, the coughing was not. So my husband and I have come to the conclusion that I can no longer eat super-spicy foods, which is heart breaking for me.

It's a thing that, you either love it or you don't. Food tastes bland to me without heat. I even put hot sauce in lasagna, spaghetti, pizza, tofu.. everything.
posted by Malice at 6:32 AM on May 24, 2011

Whatever you do, do not touch your eyes if you play with these. =0
posted by rmmcclay at 6:42 AM on May 24, 2011

I'm so fucking tired of these pathological under-tasters pretending that the quest for hotter peppers means anything.

I love a spicy dish as much as the next person, and even like it real spicy sometimes. But, c'mon, people. At some point this stuff is not food any more. Pretending otherwise is pure macho fronting.
posted by clvrmnky at 7:02 AM on May 24, 2011 [1 favorite]

This is how you eat it.
posted by telegraph at 7:16 AM on May 24, 2011

My favorite habanero recipe: Mango-habanero ice cream sauce. Put that on vanilla ice cream, and enjoy the pleasant contrast of cold and slowly building heat.

Okay, I have got to make this ASAP.
posted by cereselle at 7:18 AM on May 24, 2011 [4 favorites]

Just planted a ghost pepper for the first time, can't wait to eat one even though I will hurt the next day. Its always worth it.
Some people look forward to hot and spicy peppers, if I wanted just hot I would get a ridiculous sauce, but peppers are unique in their own regard with different flavors as well as how they affect the palate.
posted by handbanana at 7:35 AM on May 24, 2011


When I was younger (how many of my comments begin this way?)(too many) I was hanging out with a girlfriend. We were in Greenwich Village in NYC. We both loved spicy food. We were lucky enough to come across a small shop that sold nothing but various hot pepper concoctions.

They had a table with a bunch of open jars, plastic spoons and tortilla chips.

So while chatting with the owner we sampled several of the sauces and enjoyed them all. With the bravado of a couple of young morons, we asked why there wasn't anything "really hot" on the table.

She grinned and said that the really hot stuff (I am not joking) was kept behind the counter.

So she brought out a jar of sauce and warned us to only try a very tiny bit. The friend and I laughed. (This probably sounded like the laugh of a pair of drunks stepping out of a low flying plane over an active volcano, wearing blindfolds)

We both took a chip and dipped it into the jar and scarfed them down.

The next half hour or so are a blur. Some of the screaming was probably mine. No doubt the higher pitched ones.

I got some relief by pounding my head against the walls. The girlfriend got some relief by pounding on me.

I do not know the name of the evil that we consumed that day. But this does not matter. The night was supposed to be spent in lascivious revelry.

Instead it was spent fighting each other for access to the bathroom and howling. We loved each other so much.

Breakfast was milk. Ice cream. And yogurt. There was no oral sex for several days.

Don't ask.
posted by Splunge at 7:39 AM on May 24, 2011 [2 favorites]

These stories are funny because they're true.
posted by OmieWise at 7:42 AM on May 24, 2011 [2 favorites]

So, who are these idiots, and why are they doing this?
posted by freakazoid at 8:10 AM on May 24, 2011

I am Korean. We eat spicy food as a matter of course, every day, at every meal. I grew up pretty much assuming that I could out-eat anyone in a hot food-a-thon.

What naive, cute young peachfuzz didn't understand was that there is spicy food, where deep, real flavors are complemented and accented by heat, and fucking insane masochism, where you are swallowing a chemical burn just because. It's the difference between a rapier and a battle axe, or perhaps the difference between savoring a fine bit of punctuation that caps of a sentence nicely and tossing the the whole goddamn book on top of a deadly conflagration, laughing maniacally all the while with the mindless joy of watching destruction and terror. Heat, Heat, MORE HEAT!

What I am saying is, don't eat ghost pepper sauce. Even if you think you know how to eat spicy food. It does weird things to you.
posted by peachfuzz at 8:49 AM on May 24, 2011 [2 favorites]

Hey, look, everybody! Person Who Loves Things As Much As The Next Person is finally here to tell us all exactly what's wrong with people who like things more than they do! We're saved! Look for more clever Analysis via Averageness in threads about things that Person Who Loves Things As Much As The Next Person clearly doesn't care about, such as which of our favorite bands suck (Hint: all of them); which of our favorite shows suck (Hint: TV is crap); and which of our favorite physicists suck (Hint: If Freeman Dyson is so great, where's his Nobel Prize, genius?). Thanks, Person Who Loves Things As Much As The Next Person! What would we do without you?! (Hint: All of the same interesting things we're doing now, but with half of the pointless noise.)
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 9:02 AM on May 24, 2011 [9 favorites]

My favorite habanero story is the time that I bought a whole bag of them. Then I dehydrated them in order to grind them into a powder, later....I do this pretty frequently with jalapenos, no problem. I put them in the coffee grinder when they were good and dry, and all was going well until I opened the grinder and smelled to see...I don't know, to see how they smelled?

Bad move. I breathed habanero particles into my nose, lungs, throat, mouth...I was like a faucet for a few hours, as my mucus cells went into high gear. My body was *not* liking it and wanted it out NOW. I wheezed and sneezed and coughed my head off. I'm surprised I didn't start bleeding. And I'm glad I didn't get it in my eyes.

Even through all the pain, I started laughing a few times at how ridiculous and obvious my mistake was in retrospect. It was pretty funny, even at the time.

Now when I do anything involving grinding peppers, I wear a wet handkerchief over my mouth. Even for jalapenos. Never again, man. Never.
posted by erinfern at 9:15 AM on May 24, 2011 [3 favorites]

Is there a word for schadenfreude-by-pepper?

posted by benito.strauss at 9:48 AM on May 24, 2011 [3 favorites]

We had a very prolific habanero plant in the garden last year (this year we have two!) I enjoyed dicing up a hab and putting it on a burger. My wife, less pepper crazy than I, enjoys making habanero marmalade. I tried without any luck to find any jolokia starts for the garden this year, but maybe I'll buy some seeds online.

A friend back in college was a cook at one of the local thai places and would often bring home the spiciest pad thai he was able to make to see if I would eat the whole pint. Never failed.

Now I have to cook at three levels of hot: mild like otolith for my grandma, medium for my wife, and then hot as I can for myself.

I can't wait for my peppers to be ready...I even planted them in containers to control the moisture levels to stress them so they get even hotter.
posted by schyler523 at 10:08 AM on May 24, 2011

"Trinidad Scorpion" Butch T would make a pretty sweet wrestling name.
posted by abcde at 10:40 AM on May 24, 2011

I've been growing many varieties of hots for over 20 years, and always marvel when I hear of a new variety that is supposed to be the hottest ever. In my own garden, I go for variety over volume, so there are a handful of habanero plants plants along with 5-6 other types. One thing I've noticed over the years: My 'system' -- let's say everything from mouth to arse -- doesn't handle the extremes as well as it did two decades ago.

That being said, after watching the "taste test" videos on that page, you must admire the woman seated between the two dudes in the third video down. While her partners (as well as the guys in all the other videos) are hooting and whining and sweating and grimacing and panting and tearing, she keeps her cool, touches her chest a few times, quietly coughs, and maintains composure. This chick is the real deal.

And -- a summer drinking tip -- cut the top off of a habanero, remove seeds, cut lengthwise toward the bottom (not all the way) in strips, so it "flowers" (releases more hot goodness) and plop it into a cold vodka martini.
posted by VicNebulous at 11:21 AM on May 24, 2011 [1 favorite]

and plop it into a cold vodka martini.

3-4 oz of vodka shaken over ice and poured into a v-shaped glass is not a martini. I'm glad you enjoy your drink, but please.
posted by hippybear at 11:30 AM on May 24, 2011 [1 favorite]

'Vodka martini' is the IBA official name for a kangaroo cocktail. My wife would agree with the sentiment though.
posted by BrotherCaine at 1:38 PM on May 24, 2011

schyler523: "habanero marmalade"

Recipe plz.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 2:42 PM on May 24, 2011

Via Putting Up With the Turnbulls:


2 1/4 pounds honey bell oranges; approximately 4 honey bells
2 small lemons; finely grated zest and juice
1/3 cup habanero peppers; approximately 3 habenaro peppers
6 cups water
8 cups sugar

Wash oranges and lemons well. Place one small plate and several spoons in the freezer to check for doneness later on.

Slice oranges into thin strips and then quarter.

Combine oranges, lemon zest and juice and water in a large stainless steel saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring occasionally, for 40 minutes.

Meanwhile, cut habaneros into fine pieces on a separate plate. Note: We always use a separate plate when cutting any kind of hot pepper and wearing gloves is also a good idea. This way you can be sure not to contaminate your cutting board and skin with that burning hot intensity these peppers pack.

Add habaneros. Partially cover the pot and continue boiling for approximately 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Prepare for water-bath canning.

Add sugar, stirring to combine. Boil hard, stirring occasionally for approximately 10-15 minutes or until mixture reaches gel stage. After about 10 minutes test for doneness using your frozen plate and/or spoons.

Skim foam.

Ladle hot marmalade into hot sterilized jars, leaving 1/4″ headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if necessary, by adding hot marmalade. Wipe rim with a damp paper towel. Center lid on jar. Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to finger-tip tight.

Place jars in canner, ensuring they are completely covered by at least 1 inch of water. Bring to a full rolling boil and process for 10 minutes. Remover canner lid and wait 5 minutes before removing jars.

Check seals, label jars, and store in a cool space for up to 1 year.
posted by schyler523 at 3:59 PM on May 24, 2011 [5 favorites]

I think Mrs. Schyler523 used double the peppers because she loves me. ;)
posted by schyler523 at 4:00 PM on May 24, 2011

A former co-worker of mine used to eat jalapenos & chase them with Jack Daniels. Such was his fun on a Friday night while in high school.
posted by yoga at 5:33 PM on May 24, 2011

I'm sure I've mentioned this before, but my friend has a term to describe the pain of passing a pepper: sting ring.

That is all.
posted by daHIFI at 9:41 AM on May 25, 2011 [1 favorite]

We already have a term for that, and a song!

And It Burns, Burns, Burns
The Ring Of Fire
posted by furiousxgeorge at 10:52 AM on May 25, 2011 [1 favorite]

I thought I was the only one who had that song running through their head after hotlinks and chilies.
posted by BrotherCaine at 12:23 PM on May 25, 2011 [1 favorite]

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