Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Weapons-grade peppers

I love hot, spicy foods.  Love them.  Of course, I've pulled back quite a bit as I've gotten older and wiser; that unfortunate incident with Dave's Insanity Sauce has made me think twice about anything much beyond jalapeno peppers these days.

There has always been a market in weaponized peppers - pepper spray being the most commonly employed method.  But now there's a new player on the scene.  The pepper race escalates.
The Indian military has a new weapon against terrorism: the world's hottest chili.

After conducting tests, the military has decided to use the thumb-sized "bhut jolokia," or "ghost chili," to make tear gas-like hand grenades to immobilize suspects, defense officials said Tuesday.

The bhut jolokia was accepted by Guinness World Records in 2007 as the world's spiciest chili. It is grown and eaten in India's northeast for its taste, as a cure for stomach troubles and a way to fight the crippling summer heat.

It has more than 1,000,000 Scoville units, the scientific measurement of a chili's spiciness. Classic Tabasco sauce ranges from 2,500 to 5,000 Scoville units, while jalapeno peppers measure anywhere from 2,500 to 8,000.
One million Scovilles. Now THAT is a powerful pepper!

Here's my question.  People eat those things? I enjoy a jalapeno pepper every once in a while.  But something 125,000 to 200,000 times more hot?  That's nuts!

I think I'm more afraid of the dudes eating that stuff than I am of the weaponized peppers!