Brits be warned. UK grocery chain Tesco has started stocking a locally grown chile pepper that has a wicked level of spice and a menacing habit of not kicking in with its full heat until a solid ten seconds after you realize you may have made a big mistake.
The Komodo Dragon chile pepper comes from the relatively cool region of Bedfordshie, but it packs a massive 1.4 million unit punch on the Scoville scale used to measure chile pepper heat. The Guardian has labeled it “the UK’s hottest ever commercially grown chili pepper.” By comparison, a jalapeño pepper is just 3,500 Scovilles.
Of course, somehow slightly spicier peppers do exist in the world, but according to Tesco chile pepper buyer Eleanor Mansell, what makes this British-raised Dragon especially evil is that the spice takes a moment to hit you. “At first you can taste a wonderful hot fruitiness, but then after about 10 seconds the full might of this little demon hits you and your whole mouth is aglow,” she said. “This is definitely a chili pepper for connoisseurs and for those who are experienced in eating super-hot food.”
Even the label contains a warning: “Do not consume whole. Do not touch without gloves.” Yeah, I think I’ll stick with a cup of tea.