The Carolina Reaper pepper is an extremely hot pepper variety that has gained global fame for being declared as the world's hottest pepper by Guinness World Records. Its origin has been established in South Carolina, USA, where it was created by grower Ed Currie of the "PuckerButt Pepper Company" who crossed a Habanero pepper with a Naga Viper pepper.
The Carolina Reaper plant is characterized by abundant growth, which can reach up to 2 meters in height, and produces fruit with irregular shapes and a bright red color when ripe. Its hotness is measured in Scoville units, with peaks reaching up to 2,200,000 Scoville units, meaning it's more than 200 times hotter than common jalapeño peppers.
Growing the Carolina Reaper is not straightforward as it requires specific climatic conditions and proper care to thrive. For example, the plants require adequate sun exposure, regular watering, and well-draining soil. Furthermore, the harvest period of the plants can vary according to the climatic conditions and can last from 90 to 120 days. Because of these factors, it is not easy to find fresh Carolina Reaper, as most of the crop is dried or processed into powders, sauces and other food products.
It is important to know that not all the fruits of the Carolina Reaper plants reach 2,200,000 scoville units, it depends on the climatic conditions, the soil and the care of the grower.
The flavor of the Carolina Reaper is described as a mix of sweet fruit and extreme spiciness. While the use of chili peppers in cooking is often limited due to its extreme heat, it can be used to spice up some dishes, especially when used in powder or in small quantities. However, it is important to use extreme caution when using the Carolina Reaper, as its extreme heat can cause unwanted reactions such as burning in the mouth, throat and eyes, as well as gastrointestinal problems for those not used to extreme heat. For this reason, its use is not recommended for those suffering from ulcers or gastrointestinal problems.
In the kitchen, the Carolina Reaper can be used in various preparations, such as the powder to give a spicy touch to a sauce or guacamole, or in small quantities to give an intense flavor to a meat or fish dish. But care must be taken in using it so as not to overdo the spiciness. Some people also use the Carolina Reaper to make energy drinks or alcohol-based cocktails, but again, it's important to use moderation as the extreme spiciness can cause unwanted reactions.
There is a cult around the Carolina Reaper, some people enjoy the challenge of eating the world's hottest pepper, others grow it and enter contests to see who can grow the hottest fruit.
In general, the Carolina Reaper pepper is an extremely hot variety that can add a touch of fun and challenge for hot pepper lovers, but should be used with extreme caution and moderation due to its extreme heat. It is a variety for enthusiasts and connoisseurs of the genre, and is not suitable for all palates or those suffering from health issues.