Ghost Pepper Powder
Classification/Species: Capsicum Chinense and Capsicum Frutescens
Heat Level Range: 800,000 to1,041,427 Scoville Heat Units
The ghost pepper is also known by other names including Bhut Jolokia, ghost chili, U-morok, naga jolokia, red naga and the ghost jolokia. It is a hybrid pepper that was cultivated in India. The word, “bhut” means “ghost” and was the name given the spicy pepper by the Bhutias people. They described the heat like something that “sneaks up on” whoever eats the pepper.
The ghost pepper has a unique flavor but is considered to be among the hottest peppers but the heat is not what is noticed first. The ghost pepper has an intense sweet chili flavor and the heat isn’t felt for about 30 to 45 seconds in. However, once the heat kicks in, it is intense and can cause hiccups, watery eyes, sweating and even shortness of breath. The burning will typically continue to intensify for 10 to 15 minutes and can take as long as 30 to 40 minutes to subside.
Ghost peppers are used to spice up a variety of culinary dishes. Chilies may be dried before use, or they can be used fresh. However, cooks are encouraged to use them sparingly until they can get used to the heat the pepper packs. This can take some time, but the taste is well worth the effort. Ghost peppers can be added to curries, chutneys, soups, chilis, stews and casseroles.
Many people enjoy the flavor of the ghost chili and use it for making hot sauce. It is often added to pork dishes as well as with fermented fish. Because the pepper is among the hottest chilies, it is often used for competitive pepper eating contests.
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