But to judge a chili pepper strictly by Scoville units
is to miss the layers of flavor that a pepper can bring to a dish.
The truly fearless, however, will want to try the head-popping, tongue-scorching heat of Caribbean Red, a habanero that measures a scorching 445,000 Scoville units
The original Tabasco sauce measures just 2,500 Scoville units
(the unit used to measure the heat of a chilli), while a typical vindaloo curry packs between 100,000 and 200,000.
A chilli pepper's heat is measured in Scoville Units
, and last year the 40-year-old farmer produced his notorious Bhut Jolokia, a pepper of just over one million Scovilles that the Guinness Book of Records has described as 400 times hotter than Tabasco sauce.
As a guide, 10 grams of chillies with a rating of 100,000 Scoville units
should be undetectable in one ton of food.
Cayenne pepper, according to the same source, is a hot, red chili pepper used to flavour dishes and for medicinal purposes and is generally rated at 30,000 to 50,000 Scoville Units
It has more than one million Scoville units
, the scientific measurement of a chilli's spiciness.
Measurements range from 0 Scoville Units
to 16,000,000 Scoville Units
in pure capsaicin.
Most habanero chiles, in terms of hotness, fall between 100,000 and 300,000 Scoville units
, known as SHUs by the industry.
And before the burn of some 300,000 Scoville units
could reach whatever part of the brain it is that comprehends really hot stuff, she did it again.
But what really got the tastebuds going was getting my hands on a chilli sauce that has a one million Scoville Units
rating (400 times hotter than Tabasco sauce).
Scientists in India claim they grew the hottest chilli in the world in the northeastern hills of Assam, a variety called Naga Jolokia, found to have 855,000 Scoville Units