The Carolina Reaper, also known as Smokin Ed’s Carolina Reaper, chili pepper holds the Guinness Book of World Records' record for being the hottest pepper in the world, as of 2016, and is a crossbred pepper derived from Naga Viper and sweet habanero chilies. Ed Currie from the PuckerButt Pepper Company in South Carolina worked for 10 years to develop the pepper. The Carolina Reaper is incredibly hot with a fruity, sweet taste, chocolate undertones and a hint of cinnamon.
Researchers from Winthrop University in South Carolina tested the Carolina Reaper to determine its heat level, which researchers found to be an average of 1,569,300 Scoville heat units, although some peppers tested as high as 2.2 million on the Scoville heat scale. By comparison, Jalapeno peppers rate from 2,500 to 8,000 Scoville heat units.
The record, set in 2013, beat out the former record holder, the Trinidad Scorpion chili known as Butch T., a pepper grown by Australia’s The Chili Factory. The former record holder measured 1,463,700 Scoville heat units in 2011.
Currie received his Guinness award at the Hot Sauce Expo in New York City in 2014. At an eating contest that followed, Guinness determined the fastest time for eating three Carolina Reapers, with the award going to Russel Todd, a contestant who ate three of the peppers in 12.23 seconds. Jason McNabb usurped Todd’s record the same year by consuming three peppers in 10.95 seconds.