Thursday, August 2, 2007

Some Say The World Will End In Fire...

This is a Red Caribbean, a particularly hot type of Habenero pepper:

This is what it feels like in your mouth:

I should know. I ate one today.

I would strongly advise that you do not.

For comparison, a Jalapeno is rated at 3,000 - 6,000 SHU (Scotville Heat Units), whereas this thing weighs in at around 350,000 SHU. VERY HOT.

I got the pepper from a supervisor at work who grows various types of hot and spicy things. He stops eating them at around the Jalapeno level, but grows the hotter ones for their bushes and to watch people at work suffer. I had eaten previous varieties that weren't quite as hot (serannos and lemon drops) and had been joined in doing so by several other guys. I told him that I was interested in getting a bag or two of the hotter varieties to take with me to college for various malevolent purposes, and he said he would bring me an extremely hot one. He didn't disappoint. For some reason, no one else wanted to eat this one and some were told not even to touch it. This was on Monday. At the time, I had a blister on my tongue (perhaps from the previous peppers?) and didn't want to aggravate it, so I told him I would eat it later. I got such a large response from people who wanted to see me eat it that I told them I would bring it back to work and eat it during break time on Wednesday.

I managed to eat the entire thing without touching the quart of milk or package of crackers I brought with me, and am told that my face turned as red as the pepper. Tears started streaming from my eyes. My mouth was pain, and it was getting worse. I quickly downed 3/4 of the milk and several of the crackers and the pain started to subside. After 10 minutes, my mouth was back to normal, but my face remained red for an hour and my stomach started to hurt. This hurt came and went throughout the day even though I continued to eat crackers and yogurt, but I can deal with pain, right? Apparently my system cannot, and it emergency evacuated the contents of my stomach up and out an hour before my shift was over. Fortunately, I had seen it coming and was prepared for it, but the pepper still burned my mouth almost as much as before. I was glad I had some milk left, and came home early.

Before today, I was seriously thinking about taking these different potencies of pepper back to college with me and using them as part of "extended orientation," much like the hot pepper-eating contest I had with Dex when I was a freshman. Perhaps I would even use them as weaponry if 41 was ever wronged. But now that I have actually experienced the hottest pepper available to me, I will ask for no more of it. I will hold no contest, nor will I use them in retaliation. Pain is one thing, but I draw the line once something actually upsets your system. At most, I think I might take a bag of the milder serannos to keep me awake during all-nighters.

And I think I'll avoid spicy food for a while.