A Farmer Has Grown a Chilli So Spicy, It Could Potentially Kill You

Thai Chilli
Thai Chilli | © Mark Fischer / Flickr

Food & Drink Editor

A new chilli has taken the top slot of hottest chilli in the world, and what’s more, creating it was a complete accident.

Specialist plant grower Mike Smith, from Wales, never set out to grow the world’s hottest chilli. Instead, he was working with the University of Nottingham on growing high strength chillies for research into anaesthetic alternatives.

Smith, who admits to not even liking spicy food that much, was actually trying to grow an aesthetically pleasing chilli to enter into the UK’s prestigious Chelsea Flower Show’s Plant of the Year competition. This is only his second year of entering.

But when the scientists measured just how hot the chilli was, they were shocked. Up until last week the hottest chilli in the world was the Carolina Reaper, which reportedly measures in at a staggering 2.2 million Scovilles. Smith’s chilli, now named Dragon’s Breath in honour of its Welsh heritage, came in at an eye-watering, throat-burning, stomach-churning 2.48 million Scovilles. To put that into further context, pepper spray used by law enforcement is around the two million mark.

If you want to see the dangers of eating really hot chillies, watch what happens to Lizzy Wurst and her friend Sabrina Stewart when they tried a reaper [warning, there’s some strong language].

What is the Scoville Scale?

The Scoville scale is used to measure the levels of capsaicin, the substance that gives chilli peppers their heat. A bell or red pepper for instance measures zero on the scale, while a Scotch bonnet, often used in West Indian cookery, measures between 100,000 to 350,000 scovilles.

Potentially deadly

The chilli is so intense that at the time of writing no one has actually eaten it. Of his fiery creation, Smith said: ‘I’ve tried it on the tip of my tongue and it just burned and burned. Someone else said they had bit it fully, and their mouth was numb for two days. It is edible, but I wouldn’t recommend eating it on its own.’

Indeed, the University has cautioned that the Dragon’s Breath is so powerful it could cause anaphylactic shock, burning the eaters’ airways from the inside – you have been warned.

landscape with balloons floating in the air

KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?

Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

Winter Sale Offers on Our Trips

Incredible Savings

X
Edit article