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Someone gave me a Trinidad Scorpion Moruga pepper: according to Wikipedia, it's the hottest one out there. At least, the person who gave me the pepper said it's one of those, and it certainly seems to look like one.

I can take a bit of chili: I've cooked myself meals before with an entire chili pepper in each, and I can take that much without much problem. Having said that, I'm definitely not a pro when it comes to spiciness, so I'm kind of scared to cook with this demon fruit.

What do I do with this pepper? Is there some way I can get the flavor and spice in a meal without upsetting my stomach or searing my mouth (and/or other stuff the morning after)?

edit: I'm suddenly thinking, maybe I could grind it up and make a big chocolate cake out of it? am I right in assuming the oils in the chocolate will dilute the peppery oil in the pepper?

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If the hottest you've gone is "an entire chili pepper" (which one?) I suspect one of those peppers is going to introduce you to a new level of pain... –  derobert Sep 27 '13 at 20:42
    
I've tried looking this up before but fell short. Here in The Netherlands the one I've gone for is called Spanish Pepper, but I think in English people simply call them Chili Pepper. They're red and elongated and kind of shiny. They're not sort of dimpled or "creased" or anything. The closest I've come to describing which pepper I've tried is that I'm pretty sure it's a Capsicum Annuum species. It looks like this: mergenmetz.nl/res/site14/client/… –  toon81 Sep 27 '13 at 21:05
    
That looks like a Cayenne pepper. Which is indeed Capsicum Annuum (but so are quite a few peppers, with a huge difference in heat). If that's the case, then your gift is 20–40 times hotter. –  derobert Sep 27 '13 at 21:17
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The Spanish pepper sold in Central Europe is rather mild in heat. Whatever you do with your new hot pepper, be prepared to have to throw away the whole dish if it turns out to be many times hotter than your tolerance. So, I would stay away from expensive ingredients like good chocolate. –  rumtscho Sep 27 '13 at 21:32
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One suggestion: you could look up recipes for hot pepper sauces. You'll wind up with an insanely hot one, but you can then use only a few drops to heat up a dish. –  derobert Sep 27 '13 at 21:57

2 Answers 2

up vote 7 down vote accepted

Have you ever eaten something so hot it made you cry and felt like it'd never stop burning? Given what you've said you've tried, this thing is probably 10-100x as hot as the kind of pepper that would do that to you. Please be careful.

In any case, pretty much the sole point of a pepper like this is to try to be the hottest thing in the world. The amount of capsaicin is incredibly huge compared to the amount of other flavor in it; you're basically never going to taste anything but heat from it. So if you want to actually use it, just assume that the only thing you can do with it is make something hot.

I have a decent heat tolerance and love things with a bit of heat, but I still probably wouldn't bother. There are plenty of ways to add heat with much less risk of creating something completely inedible. If I really wanted to make use of it, I'd probably start with a very small quantity in a dish to try to get a sense for the heat level. This means using it in some kind of soup/stew/sauce where you can incrementally add things as you cook, not in something like a cake where you have to just go for it and possibly end up throwing away a whole cake. (For some peppers I might also try touching it to my tongue first, but I don't think I'd recommend that in this case.)

Finally, you can always try to cover it up by using it in a rich, fatty dish, e.g. a sauce with plenty of cream or coconut milk, but honestly, you'll still be lucky if you can taste anything from the pepper besides the heat.

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Very good answer. I'll accept it if I don't get a better one in a few hours. To answer your question: no, I haven't, and I suspect something a LOT less hot than a Trinidad Scorpion Moruga can do that to me. Your question is an eye-opener and no mistake! I am very much leaning towards simply giving this beelzebub-berry back because I probably won't have any use for it. It's probably wasted on me. –  toon81 Sep 27 '13 at 22:11
    
The smart advise Jefromi is giving i you is "still probably wouldn't bother." Discard this pepper; no joy will come from it. –  SAJ14SAJ Sep 28 '13 at 0:14
    
@SAJ14SAJ That would be a waste of a perfectly good pepper. Some fiery-hell-fruit-nut might want it! Besides, it was a gift: throwing it away would be impolite. –  toon81 Sep 28 '13 at 8:59

The hottest part of the pepper is inside the actual fruit, the white veins (aka placenta) contains the highest concentration of capsaicin (the source of the 'heat').

If you carefully clean the pepper, removing the internals, even lightly scrapping the inner walls of the pepper, you will end up with a much more mild pepper. If you will go a step further and roast the cleaned pepper and use a paper towel immediately after roasting to absorb the oils that roasting brings to the surface, you will end up with a very flavorful, but not "too spicy" pepper which can be used in any variety of applications, such as chili or salsa, without overwhelming heat.

By "carefully" clean, I suggest wearing gloves, working a safe distance from anything else being prepared and thoroughly cleaning your work surface afterwards. DO NOT touch yourself (especially your eyes) with your gloved hands. (see http://shine.yahoo.com/shine-food/trinidad-moruga-scorpion-world-8217-hottest-pepper-eat-201500678.html... section "Safely Handling Chiles")

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Problem is, this pepper has been completely bred for heat and not flavor, and it's just one, so even if you do manage to get it mild, it's probably not going to be as interesting as any decent flavorful pepper. –  Jefromi Sep 28 '13 at 16:37
    
Though I have not personally tried a Trinidad Scorpion Moruga pepper, the articles I have read describe a sweet flavor that I believe would be accentuated by removing significant portions of the capsaicin. –  Cos Callis Sep 28 '13 at 18:47
    
Sure, but so do a lot of much more mild peppers, and even if you get rid of 90% of the capsaicin, it's still as hot as a habanero... you can certainly give it a shot but it may not really be worth it. –  Jefromi Sep 28 '13 at 19:12
    
That article makes this thing look downright dangerous. I mean, if it can blister me or burn my sinuses, maybe I should try a Jalapeno first. –  toon81 Sep 28 '13 at 20:28

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