May 14, 2007

Hot News!

Philip Ryan

So it seems the Naga Jolokia pepper is the hottest in the world, with a Scoville scale rating of about 1,000,000. (Jalapeños clock in at 2,500 to 8,000, according to Wikipedia, but I bet that doesn't mean the Naga Jolokia is 125 to 400 times as hot as the jalapeño. Numerical scales can be very misleading in this way. Like, when it's 80 degrees Fahrenheit out, does that mean it's "twice as warm" as 40 degrees Fahrenheit?

Although the Kelvin and Centigrade/Celsius scales may be more accurate in this respect... The Scoville scale is named for presumed hot pepper enthusiast Wilbur Scoville, pictured at right.) The various names for the world's hottest pepper, which is found in Bangladesh and Northeastern India, mean something like "poison pepper" or "ghost pepper." Very interesting. I wonder what sort of instruments are needed to test on the Scoville Scale? In other news, the Dalai Lama is considering retirement.

Philip Ryan, Webmaster

UPDATE: From that article about the woman who ate 60 of the world's hottest chile peppers in two minutes... "The Scoville scale, developed by a pharmacist in 1912, is a measure of the ratio of water required to neutralize the pungency of a chili pepper." Pungency in this sense, means spiciness. So that means the naga jolokia is 125 to 400 times hotter than the jalapeño, if Wikipedia's right about the jalapeño's Scoville rating.

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