Watch Out Reaper – There’s a New Hottest Chili Pepper in Town

The Carolina Reaper is no longer the leader of the pack. The world’s used-to-be hottest pepper was recently surpassed by this new and yet-unnamed chili created in the county of Buzau, Romania.

Fresh chilli peppers green, yellow, red with leaves
Fresh chilli peppers (green, yellow, red) with leaves. Photo: StockFood / Eising Studio

If you Google “what is the world’s hottest pepper” today, the answer that appears will be Carolina Reaper. But this is about to change. Scientists in Buzau, Romania have officially created the spiciest breed of hot peppers. And you’ll never guess the reason why.

Romania – home to the new world’s hottest chili

Romanians sure love their spice. We do not hold back from a good American, Mexican, or Hungarian pepper. However, being the picky people that we are, we decided to make our own spicy pepper and make it not only the best but the spiciest in the world. Dare to cut it open, and you will instantly be overwhelmed by tears, and no, they won’t be tears of happiness or emotion. They will be tears of pain. This chili is so strong that just a faint inhalation of its gas will make you cry. An unprotected touch can cause severe burns. It’s no wonder it became the world’s hottest chili. 

Currently, the Romanian pepper measures 2.4 million Scoville units, making it stronger than its counterpart, which ranks somewhere between 1.4 and 2 million Scoville units. We wanted a spicy pepper, but no one imagined, at first, that it would be this spicy. In fact, its Scoville rank was never a concern. What was, first and foremost, desired by this chili were uniformity – the same level of spiciness throughout the plant and its fruitage. And that’s because the creation of this pepper did not come as an ambition but as a response to a request. 

It’s all about consistence

It all started back in 1996 when a local sausage producer encountered a problem. None of the peppers used in his recipe were giving the same spiciness. Facing such an issue, he appealed to the SCDL specialists who have taken upon the task with great determination. After years and years of research, genetic combinations, and multiple studies, the final product was concluded in 2014. This year, during a world congress of horticulture in France, its remarkable properties were finally acknowledged.

Once it is fully approved, a process which is presumed to take up to a couple of months, you will be able to find the product on the market – and in Google’s search results for the world’s hottest pepper.  You could say the Romanians killed two birds with … chili. Not only was the butcher’s desire met, but it gave birth to the hottest chili on this planet. Quite a remarkable coincidence, if you ask me.

But was it really a simple coincidence? Romania’s oldest breed of chili was used in the creation, so there shouldn’t be much of a surprise that it turned out the way it did. One thing is certain, though: the world’s spiciest chili is officially made in Romania.

Naomi Gherman

Master student in Cultural Diplomacy and International Relations at Babeș-Bolyai University, eager to share more about our world's most fascinating stories and people. Romania-based reader, writer and content creator with a strong interest in journalism, foreign languages and politics.

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