Can You Take the Heat?

Kitchen Daily 1/28/14


All this freezing weather has us thinking about the heat. Spicy, red-hot heat. We're not talking about crushed red pepper or chili pepper, either. We mean the kind of spice that sets records. The kind of spice that burns a hole in your stomach. The kind of spice no one in their right mind would actually ingest but makes for a great visualization tool when you're trying to warm up through the power of suggestion (hey, anything helps these days).

Turns out we're not the only ones obsessed with spice. A South Carolina man recently made the Guinness World Records when he grew the world's hottest chili. And just a couple of weeks ago a U.K. man reportedly hallucinated after eating the world's hottest curry.

If you're wondering how these things get measured, there's something called the Scoville Scale for Peppers that measures the capsaicinoid content of a pepper, which includes the compounds that make your tongue burn. A jalapeño measures 10,000 SHUs (Scoville Heat Units). The kind of peppers that break records measure approximately 2.2 million SHUs. Impressed much?

Actually, crushed red pepper and chili pepper are starting to sound just about right. If you want to bring some heat to your family's meals this weekend, try starting with a classic chili or Buffalo chicken recipe. No emergency room visit required.

Check out the slideshow above for more ridiculously hot foods from around the world.

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