A Brief chilli History
The Bhut/Bih/Naga Jolokia have blasted the record for the HOTTEST chilli up to over 1,000,000 Schovilles. These chillies have blistering heat and should be handled with care. We now have over 10 different types of Bhuts and Nagas and also have our own cross of the Bhut and Carribean Red Habanero. We call it the Bhuty Hab. Hotter than a hab but not quite as hot as the Bhut! In 2011 the Trinidad Scorpian Butch T took the new record for the hottest chilli with a rating of just under 1.5M scovilles.
This chilli was grown and tested in Australia and still has the Guiness World record. BUT recently tests in the US and Trinidad have revealed there is a new hottest chilli which is the cousin of the Butch T the Scorpian Moruga. One pod was tested as just over 2 million scovilles the highest rating ever recorded! Second on the list was the Choc 7 Pot, the Douglah, 3rd was the Bhut Jolokia with a sore of over 1.5M scovilles. These are now the hottest chillies known to man. BUT there are already rumours of even hotter chillies and some will be tested soon so watch this space as there will probably be a NEW HOTTEST chilli very soon!
Chillies original home is in the jungles of the Amazon. They were unknown outside of Central and South America before 1492, but since then have spread all over the planet and now can be found growing on every continent. In India and the China, chilli is in so many dishes that many assume it is native to these regions. There are thousands of different varieties now, spread all around the globe with many countries having their own local favourites in many dishes. From Mexico to Malawi, China to Chile, Peru to Pakistan, India to Indonesia, Nigeria to New Zealand you can find chilli in dishes just about everywhere.
They were also the first civilisations to farm and cultivate the chilli. There is evidence they did this from at least 6000BC and possibly even earlier. They were unknown outside these regions until 1492, when Columbus thought he had discovered a new pepper, and brought some back to Spain with him where they spread into Europe and around the world. He misnamed it a pepper as he thought it was related to black pepper, and at the time the Portuguese controlled the black pepper trade into Europe. The Spanish and Portuguese then spread the chilli around the world! Since 2007 a new breed of chilli has hit the Western world.
The genus Capsicum is believed to have originated in an area of South America that is bordered by Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina. This is where the greatest number of wild species grow. The chilli counts among its family members, capsicum, tobacco, eggplants, tomatoes and potatoes and along with 3000 others it forms part of the Solanaceae family. The ancient Inca and Aztec civilisations used and worshiped the chilli. The Aztecs used chilli in nearly every meal and created the first chilli chocolate. The Incas worshiped the chilli as one of four mythical brothers who feature in the Incan creation story.