The Chilli Guru

Chilli Tasting

Since the focus of this website is the variety of flavours that different chillies possess, it seems appropriate to offer some guidance on how to taste chillies. The aim should be to sample the part of the chilli which has the most flavour, while avoiding the pungent parts. To achieve this, it helps to understand the structure of the chilli fruit. Tasting superhot chillies requires more care and a different technique.

Since the capsaicin is generally confined to the surface of the placental tissue, cutting off the tip of a chilli will usually give a sample with little heat. This is less true of Big Bomb and similar varieties where the ribs are more pronounced at the blossom end of the chilli.

Alternatively slice a piece of flesh off the side of a chilli, avoiding the ribs and core. This works well for habaneros and scotch bonnets if due care is taken.

Tasting Superhot Chillies

It is possible to taste superhot chillies, but it is essential to take precautions. Unless you are confident about your ability to eat hot chillies, you would be wise not to experiment with superhots which can contain a higher concentration of capsaicin than military grade pepper spray.

Superhot chillies are the product of a chance mutation whereby the placental tissue tissue inside the fruit spread out from the core and ribs to cover the entire inside of the chilli. This means that the whole of the inside surface of the chilli is covered in capsaicin blisters.

To taste such a chilli, cut a tiny portion from the side of the chilli, about 1mm square, wrap it in a pellet of fresh bread, and chew carefully. The flavour of the chilli should come through just before the heat hits. A glass of milk will cool things down if necessary. Remember: rubbing your eyes or touching any sensitive part of the body after handing hot chillies is an incredibly bad idea.

My tasting of Moruga Red revealed a sweet perfumed flavour of surprising intensity.

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