Ghost Pepper

Ghost Pepper Plant and Pods
Ghost Pepper Plant and Pods

Ghost Pepper is also known as: bhut jolokia, bih jolokia, u-morok, red naga chili, and ghost chili

Initially cultivated in the area of India and Bangladesh, the ghost pepper has deep roots in the religious and cultural heritage of the area.  This is especially true of Nagaland and surrounding regions of India where the pepper is associated with a class of giant snakelike deities known as the Naga.  Although the majority of Nagaland is today Baptist, festivals celebrating the pepper and its former association with pagan gods continue in a mixture of modern and ancient culture.

Ghost Pepper Heat

The ghost pepper / bhut jolokia was determined to be the hottest pepper tested by the Chile Pepper Institute.  That finding was made very public by Guinness World Records who announced it was the hottest pepper in the world in 2007.  Since then, a war of the hottest has been raging and several other peppers have taken the crown one after the other.  Although other peppers have since been documented as being hotter, none retain the popularity of what might be the most famous of the super hot peppers.

Unlike most of the super hot peppers which are Capsicum chinense, the ghost pepper is a naturally occuring interspecific hybrid with genes from Capsicum chinense and Capsicum frutescens.  Often times this interspecific hybrid nature is cited as the reason for its difficulty in self pollinating.  Manual pollination or a cross pollinator like habanero are often advised.

Most references indicate the ghost pepper hovers between 800,000 and 1,000,000 SHU.  Some claim it has reached 1,500,000 SHU when grown in extremely stressful conditions.

Threw various selective breeding, the ghost pepper now exists in the most traditional red, but also chocolate / brown, yellow, peach, and white.  An orange line of ghost pepper has been discussed in various media, however it is possible the orange ghost pepper in an unstable cross resulting from cross pollination with habanero.  Time will tell.

See also:

News about the Ghost Pepper

Ghost Pepper Products

[jigoshop_category slug="ghost-pepper-items" per_page="9" columns="3" pagination="yes"]