Ghost Pepper!

Ghost Pepper!

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Danger! Danger! Let your tongue beware! Let’s just say I took a plunge into the depths of hell, or to be more precise my tongue took the plunge. Never, have I ever, tasted a spice so strong. A good friend of mine was visiting from Canada, so on one of our day excursions my husband and I took her to a Spice and Tea shop in a little Texas town. It was getting pretty close to lunch time and I was looking forward to a nice steak at a local restaurant. So there we were, browsing around in that spice store and to keep my hunger at bay I noticed a small bowl of tortilla chips. In behind those chips were samples of dipping sauces. I immediately spotted one that said, “Ghost Pepper and Blueberries.” Oh boy, I thought, I just love blueberries! And ghost pepper…what a cute name. So I dipped half the chip and coated it with this unknown concoction and tossed it into my mouth. Chew, chew, chew….hmm…I don’t really taste the blueberry all that much…chew, chew, chew…what other taste is that? Hmmm….YOWSA!!!!! My tongue was pretty much on fire. You know that cartoon where steam shoots out of their ears? That’s how I felt in that moment. My husband Jeff and my friend Linda came over to see what I was sampling and noticed my eyes tearing up. I told them what sample I tried and my husband said, “Ghost pepper? That’s one of the hottest peppers in the world!”

I looked around in a panic and saw a water cooler with a container of insanely tiny cardboard cups, about the size of a thimble, and took to filling and refilling these trying to douse my tongue and put out the fire. This went on for over ten minutes until the pain subsided. I later found out that drinking water is that worst thing to do as it only makes it worse. The simple cure would have been to drink milk but they don’t have milk available in situations like this Lesson learned: Stay away from anything marked Ghost Pepper unless you want a blanket of pain on your tongue. Oh and the best part? I walked around the store and saw a big jar of Ghost Pepper powder on a shelf but on THAT jar it was cleared marked – DANGER HOT with a description that read: The Bhut Jolokia or Ghost Pepper is one of the hottest chili peppers in the world! Also known as the Naga Jolokia or Buht Jolokia, it has been measured to over a million Scoville Units.

For those that are wondering what the Scoville Unit is let me put your curiosity to rest. It is a measurement of the pungency (spiciness or heat) of chili peppers and other spicy foods, as recorded in Scoville Heat Units (SHU) based on the concentration of capsaicinoids. Ghost Pepper ranks at number 3 on the Scoville Scale! The Carolina Reaper is number one, followed by the Trinidad Scorpion and then the Ghost Pepper.

*No tongue was permanently harmed during the telling of this story.

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