How hot are Ghost Peppers?
Bhut Jolokia, popularly known as ghost pepper, was once labeled as the hottest pepper on the planet. Grown in the hot regions of India, this monster packs a lot of heat - over a million scoville units (1,041,427 to be exact). That's half a thousand times hotter than a Tabasco chili and just as hot as devouring 350 jalapeno peppers. Ghost pepper is excruciatingly hot that a pinch of it without proper preparation will turn any dish almost inedible.
Anyone who would dare munch a ghost pepper is in for a hellish ride. This lava-like pepper pod is not like a candy that melts in the mouth, but resembles a pepper spray that is sure to scald taste buds. Once ingested, a tumultuous burning sensation inside sets in to be followed by profuse perspiration, teary eyes and shortness of breath. But don't worry because along with the aforementioned intense discomfort comes the eventual endorphin rush, which is always released to help abate the madness.
Despite the daunting accounts given to describe the heat of the ghost pepper, more and more daredevils are growing fond of it. Concoctions incorporating it are continually being made - examples are ghost pepper cheese, ghost pepper burgers, and ghost pepper vodka. So if you have brave taste buds and an iron stomach, ghost pepper is definitely worth a try!
Freshly picked naga viper pepper. Hot to the touch.
What Happens if You Eat Ghost Peppers?
Ingesting a ghost pepper is a far cry from being a party. It's a gastronomic brawl of unfathomable proportion. Those contemplating of devouring a fresh pod had better think twice.
When a ghost chili enters the mouth, a fleeting intense sweet chili flavor cloaks the taste buds, and once ingested, a stinging heat kicks in eventually causing the brave to sweat profusely, cry his eyes out and breathe hard. The ordeal intensifies for 10 to 15 minutes and then subsides in 30 to 45 minutes because of the endorphin rush that inherently releases a neutralizing effect when some swallows the chili.
Spice enthusiasts have come up with intimidating descriptions of the feeling they get after eating this erstwhile hottest pepper on earth. Some say that the feeling is like pouring pepper spray in your mouth, while others claim it's like drinking battery acid laced with glass shards. There are also those who liken it to a venomous viper biting their throats and a time bomb going off inside them.
With all these comments, it's pretty hard to believe that ghost peppers are used to cure stomach ailments in India, but it's true! They believe that if the body is hotter than the surroundings, ingesting ghost peppers will culminate a healing effect.