Often referred to as “legendary” the ghost pepper is a popular ingredient in sauces and recipes. Now considered one of the world’s hottest peppers, the Guinness Book of World records declared it the hottest in 2007. Only a few other fiery peppers supersede them. The ghost pepper’s rating is over a million Scoville Heat units. Compare this to a bell pepper, which has a Scoville rating of zero and a chipotle pepper, rated 8,000.
No one knows how they got there, but the ghost pepper was found in the Nepal Mountains in India. The unique climate and careful breeding contributed to the heat, and ghost peppers grown outside of this region are not as hot. Ghost peppers are about 2 ¼ to 3 1/3 inches long and about an inch wide. They come in orange, yellow, red or chocolate color. The rough skinned versions were known as the Indian rough chili, bit there are smooth skinned verities as well.
The ghost pepper is known by various names, including “noga jolokia” and “bhut jolokia”. Some believe they were named after the fearsome Naga warriors who once roamed Nagaland, in India. The word “bhut” is the same as the Indian word for an especially evil spirit.
While we prize delicious ghost peppers for cooking, they have some unusual defense uses. People in Northeast India spread ghost pepper paste on fences to keep wild elephants away. The Indian government incorporated ghost peppers into grenades to use as smoke bombs.
While ghost peppers are extremely fiery, they are delicious in small does and bring out the best in poultry, meat and vegetables. Our tasty Ghost Garlic sauce is excellent on anything, including noodles, eggs and seafood. We can’t guarantee that it will scare wild elephants away but it will light up your taste buds.