The buzz around Carolina reapers continues to rage on, with debates about its safety and the discomfort that comes after consuming it being hot topics. Of course, chili growers continue to defend this plant, often stressing its safety alongside the health benefits that come with it. But are there people who actually enjoy eating Carolina reapers?
Some people actually enjoy eating Carolina reapers for their endorphin rush. Other people don’t eat the reapers straight but prefer to use them to spice their burgers, chocolates, ice creams, sauces, and jams. Besides, some will add a pinch of reaper powder to their soups or dishes.
This article provides you with all the information about the Carolina reaper, including what it is and its history. It’ll also provide you with details on the plant’s health benefits and how you can include this fruit in your favorite snacks, soups, or dishes. Keep reading!
What Is Carolina Reaper Pepper?
The Carolina reaper pepper will interest you if you’re enthusiastic about hot chilies. It’s a must-grow in your kitchen garden if you come from an environment that favors its growth. But before you get there, you’ll undoubtedly be curious to try out this pepper.
Carolina Reaper is a scorchingly hot chili pepper developed and first grown by Ed Currie, a South Carolina grower. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, it’s the hottest pepper in the world. Yet, reapers have a sweet, refreshing, and fruity flavor with face-melting, unrelenting heat.
By appearance and description, Carolina reaper peppers are relatively small fruits of about 1 to 2 inches (2.5–5 cm) wide and 2 to 3 inches (5–7 cm) long. The pods or fruits mature to deep, vibrant red colors. A few newer variations are yellow, chocolate, and peach.
Besides, the skin of these peppers is characteristically bumpy in texture. But finding smoother fruits shouldn’t come as a surprise. The most significant feature distinguishing reapers from similar pepper varieties is its typical small scorpion-like tail.
The Carolina Reaper Originated From South Carolina
Carolina reaper isn’t new to the world of spicy foods. The red and gnarled pepper, developed and marketed by Ed Currie, traces its roots to South Carolina, USA. So, it isn’t native to any community worldwide. Of course, this explains where it inherited its “Carolina” name.
Ed Currie, a renowned US breeder, developed the Carolina reaper by interbreeding the red habanero and ghost pepper. Winthrop University then tested the product for safety and heat levels and rated it at an average of 1,641,000 SHU.
Carolina reaper pepper is now pretty widespread, and you’ll find growers and fruits across the US and around the world. And with more people finding it enjoyable as a spice, the popularity of the reaper pepper can only increase.
Carolina Reaper Pepper: The World’s Hottest Chili Pepper
Since this is the world’s hottest pepper, this little fruit is for you if you love spicy heat. It’s a hybrid of red habanero pepper and ghost pepper, which are some of the hottest pepper varieties you’ll find today.
Still, the reaper beats all of them, with the latest tests rating it from 1,400,000 to a blazing 2,200,000 SHU (Scoville Heat Units). That’s up to 880 times hotter than your ordinary jalapeño pepper!
And compared to the pepper spray that anti-riot police use, which is at about 2,500,000 SHU, the hottest reaper comes pretty close. Of course, the Scoville Heat Unit is the standard scale for measuring the heat in peppers.
But despite the heat, the Carolina reaper takes pride in a sweet, refreshing, and fruity flavor—at least before you begin to feel the heat. This characteristic makes it different from other super hot chilies, which are notoriously bitter and chemical-like from the onset.
And like all hot peppers, Carolina reapers also have capsaicin. Capsaicin is a compound responsible for the burning sensation you feel when consuming pepper.
This pepper is pretty aromatic, and a single fruit will easily spice up hundreds of dishes. It does this without altering the original dish’s flavor, taste, and appearance. The Carolina Reaper makes a great spice when dried and crushed into a powder since it adds both flavor and heat in equal measure. Sounds like something you’d consider?
How To Eat Carolina Reaper Peppers Safely
Most enthusiasts of spicy foods are incredibly cautious about eating Carolina reaper peppers. And rightly so, there exist reliable stories of people who consumed reapers and ended up with various unpleasant effects.
Notably, some felt severe headaches, spitting, breathing difficulties, and maybe stomach sensations. But all these are pretty short-lived, and there are better sides to this super hot chili. You can eat this super hot chili sparingly as a fresh or dried powder.
It’s best, safest, and most advisable to add it cautiously to your soups or dishes. You can also add it to ice cream, sauce, jam, jelly, buggers, etc. However, you must be enthusiastic about superhot delicacies to try out this. Like every other spice, you should guard against overindulging in the Carolina reaper pepper, which can cause unpleasant effects.
The amount of heat that results from taking whole reaper pepper can be extreme and discomforting. Putting Carolina pepper sparingly into your dishes, soups or snacks will satisfy your desire for hot spices. But apart from meeting your taste for hot, spicy foods, eating Carolina reapers also has many health benefits.
Several studies indicate that capsaicin, a compound in all chili peppers, has anti-cancer properties. Capsaicin can cause cancer cells to undergo apoptosis or program them to death. However, many people consume super hot peppers like the Carolina reaper pepper for the thrill and not for the health benefits.
Common Carolina Reapers Recipes
Let’s make it clear for the umpteenth time that Carolina reapers are better consumed sparingly in foods. Among the top reaper recipes include the following:
Carolina Reaper Chili Super Hot Sauce
You can make this by following the steps below:
- Process the roasted reapers and add vinegar, basil leaves, and garlic while the ingredient is still in the food processor.
- Add salt to taste before you bottle up your super hot sauce.
Super Hot Reaper Pepper Chips
These homemade spicy reaper tortilla chips are hotter than anything you can ever imagine.
Here’s how to make them:
- Add canola oil to a wide pot and heat to medium heat.
- Add pieces of sliced corn tortilla chips and flip until both sides are golden brown.
- Remove the chips, strain in a pepper towel, and add powdered Carolina pepper and salt before they get cold.
- Put the chips in a bowl and toast them with more reaper pepper.
Super Hot Baked Chicken Wings
This recipe is for you if you love tasty baked chicken wings! But if you love hot chicken wings, this recipe will become your favorite pretty soon!
Follow the instructions below:
- Take Carolina reapers and grind to a powder. You can add other seasonings, baking powder, and baking flow to the chili.
- Toss this mixture and rub it on the kitchen wings to perfection.
Hottest Phaal Curry
You can use chicken or lamb for this hottest curry recipe. This recipe is for ardent spice lovers.
Follow the steps below to start making the recipe:
- Season a pound of chopped chicken breast with salt and heat on medium heat.
- Heat vegetable oil, add onions and Carolina reapers separately, and cook for 5 minutes before adding the chicken.
- Add garlic, green onions, and ginger before adding curry powder and all the other seasonings you have in mind.
Carolina reapers are safe to eat, and many people enjoy eating them. It’s advisable and safe to eat Carolina Reapers sparingly by adding them to your favorite reaper recipes since eating them whole can cause unpleasant effects.
- Wikipedia: Carolina Reaper
- Quora: Are there people who normally eat the Carolina reaper?
- Science Line: Why some people can tolerate the world’s hottest pepper
- Medical News Today: What is pepper spray, and is it dangerous?
- National Library of Medicine: Anticancer Properties of Capsaicin Against Human Cancer