Spicy foods have been popular throughout world cuisines, and California is no exception. Being the crossroads of many cultures, you’re more than likely to find something to get your heat on. But not all spicy foods are created equal, at least according to the Scoville scale
But Wait, whats the Scoville scale?
The Scoville Scale was developed by Wilbur Scoville in 1912 to asses the heat (technical term is pugency) of chili peppers and other spicy foods, based on the amount of capsaicinoids contained within. Currently, the highest rated item are the Carolina Reaper coming in at over 1.5 million Scovilles.
Here are seven items (ranked from low to high) with varying levels of scovilles that you can find (or make) here in California
Bell peppers (American) Stuffed peppers – Negligible Scovilles
Lots of people make stuffed peppers as they are quick and easy to prepare, as well as delicious. Make your own at home with this recipe.
Anaheim chilies (Mexican) Chilli Rellenos – 500-2000 Scovilles
A cheesy, deep fried treat, Chilli rellenos pack a nice heat from the Anaheim (aka New Mexico) chillies. Make your own at home with this recepie.
Chipotle Chili (Mexican) – 5,000-8,000 Scovilles
Salsa is always welcome to any get together, and based on your own preferences, you can modify it to your liking based on what chilies you use. Click on this salsa recepie using both ancho and chipotle chilies
Cayenne Pepper (Korean) Kimchee – 30,000 – 50,000 Scovilles
This spicy side dish complements the often spicy and flavorful dishes that accompany Korean food. Kimchee can be prepared at home using cayenne peppers
Bird’s Eye Chili (Thai) Vegan Curry – 100,000 – 225,000 Scovilles
Used in many thai curries, these little peppers come with a big punch. Give this vegan curry a go if you’re preferring something a little on the lighter side.
Ghost Pepper (American) Buffalo Wings 1,041,427 Scovilles
Used extensively in Indian cooking to add a spicy kick, ghost peppers have made their way stateside at many wing joints here in the USA. Bustle has a link with some recipes you can try at home (if you dare, be sure to read the handling instructions as you do not want to touch your eyes after handling these things.)
Carolina Reaper (American) By themselves 1,463,700 Scovilles
Currently the record holder for the spiciest of chilies, coming in with a rating of over 1,569,300 Scovilles, this chili is a hybrid of a red habanero and a ghost pepper grown in South Carolina in 2013. Contests are held to see who could eat three of them the fastest, with the current record holder being 3 of them being eaten in 10.95 seconds back in 2014.
What do you think? Can you handle the heat? Let us know in the comments below.