Named the world’s hottest pepper by the Guinness Book of World Records in 2013, this bright red, shriveled-looking pepper was created by American pepper breeder Ed Currie.
The Carolina Reaper is gaining ground as spice lovers are enticed to take on a very hot challenge and restaurateurs are finding ways to incorporate the pepper, which is more than 400 times hotter than a jalapeño, using methods that allow its spice to shine without overpowering other components in a dish. That’s a challenging task considering its level on the Scoville scale, which is nearly double that of the ghost pepper, which has appeared on quick-service restaurant menus including Wendy’s.
Market research firm Datassential reports that Carolina Reapers are found on 0.2% of U.S. menus, up 233% over the past four years.
Click through the gallery to learn more about this week’s Flavor of the Week and see how one restaurant is using Carolina Reapers on its menu.