Tesco is now stocking the world’s hottest chilli pepper after it was grown commercially for the first time in the UK by Bedfordshire grower Salvatore Genovese.
The Carolina Reaper measures an average 1.5 million Scoville units, which is around 400 times hotter than a jalapeno chilli. The Komodo Dragon chilli meausures 1.4m on the Scoville scale.
Available in more than 130 stores, Carolina Reaper chillis will cost £1 for a packet of two to three chillis. It will be sold as part of Tesco’s new Komodo Dragon brand of super-hot chilli peppers, marked with a blue flash label.
Genovese, managing director of Love My Chillies, wrote in a blog: “Tesco has been a fantastic supporter and is the only retailer to have taken a risk with top of the heat scale chillies such as the Trinidad Scorpion, Bhut Jolokia, Bedfordshire Super Naga and of course last year’s top seller, the super-hot Komodo Dragon.
“It’s amazing how quickly the popularity of the chilli pepper has grown over here, it’s a far cry from the days of meat and two veg or when fish and chips was our favourite dish.”
Tesco chilli pepper buyer Phoebe Burgess said the Carolina Reaper is “absolute meltdown material”. “It’s one for absolute hot food connoisseurs. Despite it being astonishingly hot it also has a wonderful fruity taste. Only a sliver is needed to add exciting flavour to your favourite curry," she said.
Burgess said Tesco has been “inundated” with requests from shoppers to go one better than last year’s hottest chilli, the Komodo Dragon.
The Carolina Reaper packet in Tesco has the following health warning: "Do not consume whole. Do not touch without gloves. Skin irritant. Avoid contact with eyes. Wash hands thoroughly after preparation to avoid irritation."