Ed Currie’s Pepper X Attains New Guinness World Record as World’s Hottest Chile

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Ed Currie’s Pepper X Attains New Guinness World Record as World’s Hottest Chile

It must be a strange experience to be Ed Currie, a man with such passion–and superhuman pain tolerance–that he’s managed to carve out a niche entirely his own, even among a larger community of die-hard chile pepper geeks. Chile-heads are, after all, an eccentric and passionate bunch, but even in comparison with the average person who enjoys eating whole habaneros, Currie is an absolute iconoclast. He’s like an explorer who has long since ventured off the edge of the map and returned from an undiscovered country, bringing mystical artifacts along with him. Previously, that included the breeding of the world record-holding Carolina Reaper pepper. But rather than wait for someone to finally break his record for the hottest chile, Currie has just gone and done it himself, officially releasing Pepper X on the world and demolishing his record in the process. This week, the new chile was officially recognized as the Guinness Book of World Records new hottest chile in the world, bringing what Currie refers to as “immediate, brutal heat.”

“I was feeling the heat for three-and-a-half hours,” said Currie of the experience of first eating Pepper X. “Then the cramps came. Those cramps are horrible. I was laid out flat on a marble wall for approximately an hour in the rain, groaning in pain.”

Keep in mind, this is coming from “Smoking” Ed Currie, the man who might very well have the most developed tolerance to capsaicin in the world. Less than 10 people in the world have even experienced eating an entire Pepper X chile at this point. We can only imagine how the average person who thinks a jalapeno is “spicy” might react to the likes of Pepper X.

Most food geeks are of course aware that relative spiciness/heat in chile peppers is measured in terms of Scoville Heat Units, with a score of zero registering nonexistent heat. An average jalapano registers about 5,000 Scoville. A habanero, famous for its heat, registers about 100,000. You then start venturing into the world of “ultra hots,” which stretch past 1 million. Currie’s own Carolina Reaper has topped out at beyond 1.6 million Scoville, which made him the record holder almost a decade ago. He had been holding Pepper X in reserve, waiting for someone else to develop a hotter chile, but when that never happened Currie judged that the time was right to release this new monster on the world. The average Scoville of a Pepper X? Roughly 2.69 million Scoville units. And because this is a logarithmic scale, Currie stresses that Pepper X is to be considered roughly “three times hotter” than the Carolina Reaper. Truly, this is mind-boggling heat.

Ironically, the pepper itself looks almost innocuous compared to some of the other red or brown-colored, wrinkly ultra-hots. Pepper X has a more fresh, yellow-green look to it, and reportedly sports a citrus/earthy flavor, although good luck perceiving that flavor when every cell in your body is crying out in agony. Currie doesn’t divulge the pepper’s ancestry, beyond saying that it’s a crossbreed of the Reaper and another pepper.

Nor is Currie done with his quest to create the world’s hottest peppers, even after annihilating his own record. Despite the fact that it seems as if no other grower can even approach what the master is doing, Currie’s research and pepper breeding continues, and he has worryingly implied that he still has even hotter chiles than Pepper X tucked away for a rainy day. At what point does a person just drop dead after trying to take a bite of one of these? That seems like the logical end point, does it not?

Regardless, congratulations to Ed Currie in this incredibly painful quest. You can see him enjoying the fruits of his labor in the video below.

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