I recently tried a bite of a Bhut/Naga Jolokia pepper, which is rated to be 3-10 times hotter than a "standard" habanero. It was hot, but the total experience was not worse than a habanero, and definitely not worse than Buffalo Wild Wings' "Blazin' Challenge," which is more about the volume of hot wing sauce you can consume.
Granted, my peppers were farmed in California, not India, but they should be well within an order of magnitude of its variety's rating.
Given the wide range of chili varieties and heat levels, I'm wondering how best to harness the heat of each.
- What determines the intensity and mouth location of a raw chili pepper experience?
- Most of the capsaicin is contained in the pith and seeds, so is it a matter of how well you chew that portion and move it around in your mouth?
- Are there other chemical factors at work in each pepper that affect the release/reception of the capsaicin?
- When cooked down, is it just a simple equation of
pepper volume × Scoville rating?
- Is a large fruit likely to contain more capsaicin than a small fruit, or about the same?
- Since Thai chilis are around 75,000 SHU, are they 7 times hotter per volume than Serranos at 10,000 SHU?
- Would you want to use a tiny bit of a Naga when all you want is heat with little to no pepper flavor?