Move over Carolina Reaper, because there’s a new hottest chili in town, and it’s so spicy that eating it could actually kill you. The Dragon’s Breath chili was grown in North Wales by hobbyist Mike Smith in partnership with Nottingham University, and it certainly lives up to its fiery name.
Dragon’s Breath measures more than 2.48 million on the Scoville scale. This is considerably hotter than the previous title holder the Carolina Reaper, which measures in at around 2.2 million. In fact, the plant is so potent that it has to be kept in a sealed container at all times. The chili is so hot that it could potentially result in anaphylactic shock if eaten whole, burning the airways and closing them up.
So how hot is this thing, really? To put things into perspective, the US military uses pepper spray which registers at around 2m on the Scoville scale. Sounds pretty tame compared to Dragon’s Breath, eh? Your bog standard jalapeño weighs in at between 2,500 to 5,000, meaning Dragon’s Breath is almost 500 times hotter. Ouch.
Smith, the owner of Tom Smith’s Plants, said: “It’s not been tried orally. I’ve tried it on the tip of my tongue and it just burned and burned. I spat it out in about 10 seconds. The heat intensity just grows.”
The chili does have another use besides blowing your mouth off – it has been designed with a medicinal purpose in mind. Smith explained: “This was developed because a lot of people are allergic to anaesthetic, and this can be applied to the skin because it is so strong it numbs it.” Aside from helping those who are allergic to anaesthetic, it’s thought the plant’s oil could be used in the developing world, since its cost will be considerably lower than anaesthetic.
If you want to check out the plant for yourself, it will be on display at the Chelsea Flower Show between May 23 and 27. But please, whatever you do, don’t try and eat it.