that’s some ghost pepper shit

Several months ago we planted some peppers: four different varieties of bells (green, red, lilac, chocolate) and a mystery pepper.

The tag didn’t specify the variety, so even though the thing SAID world’s hottest pepper we really didn’t think it was an official ranking.

Guy took a little while to get started, we went through a severe drought and then, boom goes the dynamite: after near constant rain for the better part of a month, little green peppers started blooming all over the thing. As soon as the first one began to change color, I plucked it off and we used it in some fajitas. It was pretty mild, as early-harvest peppers tend to be. It was the roundish shape and orangish color of a habanero, so whenever people asked, we told them it was a habanero. (Truth: nobody asked.)

We let them ripen on the vine for several more weeks and used a couple more in some tacos, some nachos, etc. They were noticeably hotter, but still tolerable. I did notice that I had a couple of burning spots on my face (okay, in my nose but it was a scratch, not a pick) from touching it while slicing them. Still, we doubted the veracity of the claim world’s hottest. (How ’bout that, huh? World’s Greatest. That’s better than number one! Let’s see how many Seinfeld references I can cram into one post!)

It wasn’t until last week that I sliced one up to put in a vat of chili (I swear we don’t eat bar food all the time) that I actually smelled the heat. And I could taste the smell. It was acrid yet aromatic. (I feel like I’m reviewing a beer. A double IPA, probably.) When the fumes got up into my nose, I coughed and my eyes watered.

As a precaution I removed some of the seeds before sticking it into the chili and the chili came out just perfect. Definitely spicy, but not painful. I was impressed that such a tiny bit of pepper could heat up an entire giant batch.

Also, I must not have washed my hands well enough because I had a tremendous burning sensation on my fingers that somehow got even worse after I went swimming. I think the pepper had some kind of chemical reaction with the chlorine in the pool. Thankfully, I didn’t contaminate the baby with my toxic pepper fingers.

Now that the peppers are really starting to ripen on the vine, they are beginning to elongate and take on the darker red shade of the ghost pepper. (If you’re not familiar, the ghost pepper, naga jolokia, is right behind standard grade pepper spray on the Scoville scale.)

And whenever I slice one of those fuckers, I am pretty much making a two day commitment not to remove my contacts.

Anyway, we nearly had a frost last night and although the plant only set us back a couple bucks, I’d hate for so many of the peppers to go to waste. They’re actually kind of lovely and I’ve grown quite fond of them. I’m concerned we won’t be able to put them all to use before winter. And freezing, we learned the hard way, only makes hot peppers hotter.

Any ideas for how to use 50 ghost peppers in less than a month? It should go without saying that if you come over for dinner, everything we serve you will be spicy.

In other news, today is bitches day out: I’m going downtown on a mini brewery tour with a couple of friends. I hope to have some kind of dodgy recap for you later on. Kisses!


24 thoughts on “that’s some ghost pepper shit

  1. I once ate a habanero pepper, thinking (I am dumb, I know this) that it was a slightly shriveled cherry tomato. Ummmm, as soon as I sank one tooth into it, I spit it out on the floor. Then I proceeded to drink milk, eat ice cream, anything I could think of to get it out of my mouth. Put me off hot peppers.

    Also, wear gloves. I cut up jalapenos this summer to make bacon-wrapped, cream-cheese-stuffed jalapenos, and I didn’t wear gloves the first time — mistake! Wear gloves.

    • They even LOOK evil, don’t they? That happened to me with a szechuan pepper once. I freaking CRIED. It was horrible.

      We have a buddy who is a pepper fanatic. I seriously don’t think he has taste buds anymore because he can eat shit that’s hotter than anything imaginable. Anyway, I’m told he makes it into a paste (Friends episode, anyone?) and keeps single-serving batches in the freezer, then whenever he makes chili or anything, he just gets a frozen paste pop out of the freezer and throws it in there. GENIUS.

  2. awwwww look at her cute little feet. she is so cute! and grown since we saw her last! and no. no suggestions on 50 peppers though the trick or treat thing sounds like the best idea!

  3. I hate chopping hot peppers like that. I always inevitably FORGET and take my contacts out and then feel like the devil is ripping my brains out through my eye sockets when I try to put the contacts back in. I never learn.

    You should try to dehydrate them…that could be cool, right? Or make hot sauce. I’d come visit IN for ghost pepper wings, just sayin’.

  4. If you have one of those little chopper food processor things, chop them up with a little bit of vodka. Freeze. It kinda makes a slushy type hot sauce dealio. Lasts for quite awhile in the freezer.

  5. Cut the stems off and put them in a stainless steel pot with enough vinegar to get the steaming process started. Simmer them for about 1 hour. Put the cooked mess into a blender with enough additional vinegar to make a thick sauce. It will keep in the fridge for years until you find ways to use it.

  6. well I don’t want to bust your bubble but those shure are not ghost peppers they look more like red habanero peppers ghost peppers are slinder with wrinkles and some have bumps…………….

    • Yeah, I’ve seen photos of the fully ripened/mature ghost peppers. I think if given more time (or grown in a green house) these would have matured and gotten a lot bigger but I agree they probably weren’t ghost peppers. Thanks for the tip, we still have a bunch of them in the freezer!

  7. next time you have a lot of peppers slice them in half and put them on a cookie sheet in the oven on 125 until they are dry get a cheap coffee grinder 15 bucks at wal-mart and grind them into a powder can be put into chili on chicken wings for hot wings lots of use’s

  8. Thats probably a caribbean red chili, another very hot chili, but its not nearly as hot as the ghost chili its a variety of habanero i think, but not the usual one.. sorry to bring bad news.

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