Saturday, June 17, 2006

The "Hotness" Index

Indian food is hot. So is Thai food. And Mexican food. But is there a way to compare the hotness of food? Sure is. It's called the Scoville Scale. This scale essentially measures capsaicin content in peppers. Here's how it goes:

Scoville units      Pepper varieties
0-100 most bell peppers and sweet peppers
100-500 pepperoncinis
500-1,000 New Mexico peppers
1,000-1,500 Espanola peppers
1,000-2,000 ancho peppers, pasilla peppers
1,000-2,500 Cascabel peppers, cherry peppers
2,500-5,000 jalapenos, Mirasol peppers
5,000-15,000 serrano peppers
15,000-30,000 Chile de Arbol peppers
30,000-50,000 cayenne peppers, Tabasco peppers
50,000-100,000 chiltepin peppers
100,000-350,000 Scotch Bonnet peppers, Thai peppers
200,000-300,000 habanero peppers
16,000,000 pure capsaicin
The hottest pepper variety known to man? Red Savina habanero.

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