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The name "Carolina Reaper" is a combination of the state where it was created (South Carolina) and "reaper," referring to its sharp spiciness. The Carolina Reaper is one of the spiciest chile peppers commercially available worldwide.
The peppers get the heat level rating of spiciness from measuring the natural oils called capsaicinoids, measured by the Scoville Heat Units scale (SHU)
What Are Carolina Reaper Peppers?
The Carolina Reaper is a chile pepper bred by "Smokin" Ed Currie in a greenhouse near Rock Hill, South Carolina. He has been growing chile peppers since 1968, and it took him over three years of breeding to create the Carolina Reaper.
What Are Capsaicinoids?
Capsaicinoids are alkaloids that contribute to the heat of chile peppers. Capsaicin is the main capsaicinoid found in chili peppers, followed by dihydrocapsaicin and nordihydrocapsaicin.
These compounds are responsible for your burning sensation when eating chile peppers.
How Hot is the Carolina Reaper?
- Scoville Rating: 1,400,000 to 2,200,000 (SHU)
This pepper is a hybrid chile pepper of the Capsicum chinense species, originally called the "HP22B". The peppers are red and gnarled, with a small tail. They average at about 1,400,000 Scoville Heat Units (SHU) but can measure up to 2,200,000 (SHU).
Carolina Pepper Comparison: They measure 400 times hotter than a jalapeno! 😮
What Does the Carolina Reaper Taste Like?
For starters, the Carolina Reaper is incredibly spicy. The heat sneaks up on you, building until it reaches its peak. And when it does, it's intense! The heat lingers long after you've taken a bite, making your mouth feel on fire.
Beyond the spice, the pepper has a fruity flavor with hints of chocolate and coffee. It's a surprisingly complex flavor for such a hot pepper.
How Hot is the Carolina Reaper Compared To the Ghost Pepper?
A Carolina Reaper has a Scoville rating of around 2 million. The Ghost Pepper has a Scoville rating of approximately 1 million, making it around twice as hot as a ghost pepper.
Can Eating a Carolina Reaper Kill You?
There is no definitive answer, as eating a highly spicy pepper can have different effects on different people. However, it is generally agreed that the Carolina Reaper is one of the peppers and that ingesting it can cause severe discomfort, including burning sensations in the mouth and throat, sweating, and nausea.
So, can eating a Carolina Reaper pepper kill you? It is possible, though it is unlikely. When considering eating pepper, it is vital to know the potential risks involved. Speak with your doctor beforehand, and take precautions such as wearing gloves and having milk on hand to help ease the burning sensation if you experience it.
What is Carolina Reaper Pepper Extract?
The extract is a concentrated form of the Carolina Reaper chile pepper. It is made by soaking the peppers in alcohol using standard trade-used ingredients, extracting the capsaicin from the peppers into a potent pepper extract. Capsaicin is the compound that makes chile peppers hot.
How To Grow A Carolina Reaper
Carolina Reaper peppers are best grown from seeds, which you can find online or at a gardening store. Plant them indoors or directly in the ground in late March or early April. The soil should be loose and drain quickly, you can improve its quality by adding some organic matter, like compost or manure.
Check the soil before you water your pepper plants to make sure you aren't going to overwater or submerge them. Watering your pepper plants regularly, around once a week, is recommended. If the weather is hot and dry, you might need to regularly water your plants.
Fertilize your plants every few weeks with a high-quality fertilizer designed for pepper plants; you can find these at gardening stores or online.
To protect your plants from pests and diseases, use insecticidal soap or neem oil to keep pests at bay and use a fungicide to prevent diseases. Following these steps, you can grow healthy, productive Carolina Reaper peppers. Just be prepared for the heat! These peppers pack a serious punch, so use them sparingly at first. Once you taste them, you can add them to all sorts of dishes.