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Canadian growers eager to get their hands on hottest new chili pepper in the world

The new Pepper X has been recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s hottest chili pepper, dethroning the Carolina Reaper, which held the title for a decade.

Stu Smith, owner of Stoke the Fire Hot Sauce, grows Carolina Reaper on his farm in Revelstoke, B.C., about 210 kilometers east of Kamloops. And he had heard of Pepper X before the big announcement.

“In the Pepper community, we knew it was there, but actually it was … dethroning Carolina Reaper was a pretty big step,” Smith said.

The heat of peppers is measured in Scoville heat units. A zero is bland, and a regular jalapeño pepper scores around 5,000. A habanero, the record holder about 25 years ago, usually exceeds 100,000. The Guinness Book of World Records holds the Carolina Reaper at 1.64 million points.

Pepper X’s record average is 2.69 million points. By comparison, the pepper spray typically kept by police is about 1.6 million units. Bear spray advertises 2.2 million units.

On the shore6:51 a.mA BC producer is talking about the world’s new hottest pepper

Featured videoStu Smith of Revelstoke, BC is one of the growers of the world’s second hottest pepper, the Carolina Reaper. He talks to GGloria Makarenko about the hottest new pepper, Pepper X.

A small red wrinkled pepper is in hand.
According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the Carolina Reaper was the hottest pepper in the world for a decade. (Jeffrey Collins/Associated Press)

Smith said he would like to grow Pepper X on his farm if he were offered the seeds, and even try to crossbreed them to set a new pepper record.

“You never know, maybe we could be next,” Smith said.

Hotter peppers may be in the works, but breaking the world record depends on their certification and testing, he said. This means it should be a hardy pepper that is consistent over several years of growth.

“I think there are a lot of pepper growers out there that argue against it.”

Pepper X was developed by South Carolina pepper expert Ed Curry, the same grower who created the Carolina Reaper.

But Curry defends Pepper X. He told The Associated Press that the seeds would not be released until he was sure his children, his workers and their families could fully reap the rewards of his work.

Calgary Eyeopener7:20Pepper X:

Featured videoSorry Carolina Reaper, the world now has a hotter pepper, Pepper X. We’re talking to a Calgarian trying to get some seeds.

“Everyone made their money from Reaper. It’s time for us to reap the rewards of my hard work,” Currie said.

That work includes dozens of fields in South Carolina’s York County, secret greenhouses where Curry works on peppers to prevent them from being stolen, and the PuckerButt shop in Fort Mill, where Curry works on dozens of sauce ideas that range from mild to blazing hot. He also sells his peppers to companies around the world.

Doyle Schmidt runs PepperKing, a hot sauce and condiment business in the Calgary area. And she can’t wait to get some Pepper X seeds when they eventually become available.

“It’s going to be hard to get seeds,” Schmidt said. “But I really hope I can get my hands on it.”

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