How to Burn Your Mouth Off: A Local Ghost Pepper Story
October 20, 2011
I held the pretty little devil delicately. My colleague watched attentively. Then I bit.
What came next could have been closer to ulcer and fever than spicy and nice. But the "ghost pepper" in my mouth was actually a dud. I emerged with my throat, mouth and stomach intact. Other colleagues weren't so lucky, or unlucky, depending on how you see it.
In this week's Wine & Food issue, Weekly scribe Sara Rubin explains how this tastebud roulette can happen, and how solving that piquant equation of the hottest pepper on the planet presents very, very lucrative possibilities for local growers.
(It's an adventurous issue, as foodie pubs go. In addition to biting into potentially screamingly spicy chilis, we also experiment with our own homemade hooch, brave the burgeoning world of home brewing with help from a new hub, challenge the government on GMO labeling (or lack thereof) and ramble around Hahn Winery with a visionary chef-wine guy.)
Weekly photog Nic Coury went along with Rubin on their ghost pepper field trip. Here's the video he came back with. Pay special attention to the closing comment from the grower himself: "Noooooo, no, no, no."