Now It’s Official: Pepper X Is the World’s Hottest Pepper

It shares a creator with the Carolina Reaper

October 17, 2023 8:53 am
Pepper harvest
Aerial view of vegetable farmers sorting green peppers during harvest season on October 11, 2023 in Zaozhuang, Shandong Province of China.
Hong Xiaodong/VCG via Getty Images

A few months ago, I was shopping for hot sauce online. My goal was simple: to find a good all-purpose hot sauce. When I saw one with the name “The Classic,” I figured I had everything figured out. What I did not realize at the time was that I was actually buying a bottle of Hot Ones’ The Classic — Pepper X Edition. When I applied the hot sauce to some wings at home, I soon learned my mistake — also got a firsthand taste (literally) of how hot Pepper X can be.

As of this week, Pepper X isn’t just absurdly hot — it’s spicy enough to hold a new world record. The announcement came via Guinness World Records, who certified Pepper X’s heat at an average of 2,693,000 Scoville Heat Units. The previous record holder, Carolina Reaper, currently averages 1,640,000 Scoville Heat Units.

Given that the two peppers were both created by the same man, Puckerbutt Pepper Company’s Ed Currie, it’s unlikely that there will be too many hard feelings over the record changing hands.

“When we bred this pepper out, the first thing we looked for was something that was going to raise the heat level to what we thought was going to be the maximum,” Currie explained in a video posted on First We Feast. “The second thing was the flavor.”

The video is highly recommended, incidentally, and features a number of authorities in the world of spicy foods consuming Pepper X whole and recounting their experience, which seems to stop just short of hallucinating.

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Upon learning of the new world record, Currie pointed to the collaborative nature of the project — which has been in the works for a while. “This is the culmination of a lot of work by a lot of people,” he said.


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