The Carolina Reaper is currently the hottest pepper in the world that can be grown by the general public, according to Guinness World Records. In November 2013, the Guinness Book of World Records named the Carolina Reaper as the new hottest pepper in the world, replacing the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion. The Carolina Reaper pepper averages 1,569,300 Scoville Heat Units (SHU) and some peppers have been tested over 2,200,000 SHU, which is hotter than typical pepper spray. To put it in perspective, the Carolina Reaper is about 175 times hotter than the hottest Jalapeno.
The taste of the Carolina Reaper is described as fruity and sweet, but the intense heat level kicks in shortly after consumption. There’s a lot more flavor to the Carolina Reaper than most extremely hot peppers. The pepper was originally developed by Ed Currie, who crossed a Red Habanero with a Ghost pepper. Like Trinidad Scorpion varieties, the Carolina Reaper has a scorpion-like tail. The Carolina Reaper resembles the 7 Pot Primo pepper. The Carolina Reaper starts off green and ripens to red, reaching about 1.5 to 2 inches in total length.