I can’t say that I wasn’t warned. The neighbor who gave them to me said that they were the hottest chili peppers in the world. I’d heard that before, so I was a little skeptical. Still, she grew all sorts of peppers in her back yard so I at least knew it was hotter than anything in her stock.

Then, as I was tearing apart one of the peppers and putting it in my soup, I was warned again. This time by Clancy. Maybe you should put in a little at a time?

“How much damage can a single pepper do?”

Within the next twenty minutes, I’d had three large cups of diet coolaid.

Within the next thirty minutes, I was throwing out the last third of the soup that I had eaten. I have never in my life thrown out something for being too spicy.

Within thirty five minutes, I filled my mouth with ice for the fourth time just to try to keep the temperature in there down.

Within forty-five minutes, my nose hurt from breathing. Not because I got any chili seeds or whatever up there, just because of the exposure.

Within fifty minutes, it hit my stomach. I started scarfing down cheese and milk and drinking some stomach agents to try to mitigate the coming damage.

Within an hour, I must have scratched right above my eye because it burns like the holy fires of hell.

Within an hour and a half, I realized that the burning sensation on my lap had less to do with the fact that I had a laptop on it while writing this post than it had to do with the fact that the same hands that burned above my eyes helped aim the barrel to hit the figurative target at the bottom of the toilet bowl when I needed to unload that coolaid.

Shortly after that, I look up the pepper on the Internet. Find out that yes, in fact it is the most spicy pepper on the planet. And that Indians use it, ironically for a medicine. In between churns, my stomach is extremely skeptical of that assessment of its healing value and believes that Indians are crazy.

Somewhere in the back of my mind, a separate ghost that smokes in the back there as it conspires against me wonders what I’m going to do with that other pepper…


Category: Kitchen

About the Author

Will Truman (trumwill) is a southern transplant in the mountain east with an IT background who bides his time taking care of their daughter while his wife brings home the bacon. You will probably be relieved to know that he does not generally refer to himself in the third-person except when he's writing short bios on his web page.

51 Responses to A Chili That Will Haunt You

  1. Bobvis says:

    You had never tried other kinds of chilies before? Even within a particular type of chili, there is quite a bit of variance. I sometimes can barely tell a jalapeno is supposed to be hot, but a really, really fresh one can be surprisingly potent.

    I’ve done many things at least as stupid that I’m not particularly willing to share right now, of course. Sometimes I wish “grow a pair of balls” were replaced in our language with “grow a pair of frontal lobes.” I think it’d make a difference.

  2. trumwill says:

    If I am getting something spicier than a regular jalepeno pepper, it’s usually something packaged and labeled. Any time I’ve tried an unprocessed chili after having been told that it’s unbelievably spicy, I haven’t really noticed it as being much more spicy than a jalepeno (keeping in mind, of course, that I have diminished tastebuds so subtle differences glide right past me).

    I was actually really reluctant to post this because I don’t like to so fragrantly advertise my stupidity. Clancy convinced me, though, I think about the time my nose started to hurt.

  3. Clancy says:

    Here’s my two cents attesting to the potency of that pepper. I picked up a glass Will had handled, oh, about 4-5 hours earlier, not long after he had hand-shredded the pepper for his soup. I was eating some (totally non-spicy) finger food, and suddenly my lips were on fire — evidently courtesy of the residue from the pepper that had transferred from Will’s hands to the glass to my hands to my lips. Wow. I think the “ghost pepper” got its name because it’ll come back to haunt you. . .

  4. SFG says:

    Weren’t they experimenting with using capsiacin for a local painkiller? Shorts out the pain fibers or something….

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