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A Reaper Pepper Crash Course
Taming the Hottest Pepper in the World
Carolina Reaper peppers strike a flaming fear into the taste buds of even the bravest spice lovers and chiliheads. The Carolina Reaper Scoville rating sits between 1.6- to 2.2-million SHU, claiming its title as the hottest pepper in the world. But beneath the Reaper’s cloak of torturous spice, there lies an inviting taste that has tempted flavor cravers since the pepper’s inception.
While the Carolina Reaper might be known for its hellish heat, those who survived its stinging scythe attest to the pepper’s toothsome taste. Carolina Reapers are a hybrid between red habanero and Naja Viper peppers, making them blisteringly hot and satisfyingly sweet. These peppers feature a fruity flavor profile with bitter undertones of cinnamon and chocolate. This unconventional contrast between sugary tang and sizzling spice makes Carolina Reaper sauces ideal for sweet and savory dishes alike.
5 Tips for Cooking with Carolina Reapers
Be warned, cooking with Carolina Reaper peppers is a gravely serious undertaking. Without the proper gear and prep practices, at-home chefs risk capsaicin burns and smoked-out kitchens. These are the top five tips our chefs have for chiliheads cooking with Carolina Reapers for the first time:
- Wear gloves. The Carolina Reaper can cause searing pain, not only to the tastebuds but also the skin. Protect your digits, hands, and forearms from the fiery wrath of the Carolina Reaper. Even the peel of this pepper can cause discomfort to bare skin and severe pain to cuts.
- Don’t touch your eyes or face. You should be mindful of touching your face handling any pepper, but especially when a Reaper is on the cutting board. Just second-hand contact between a Carolina Reaper and the eyes or face will bring even a seasoned spice lover to tears.
- Keep the air moving. Turn on the overhead vent and open nearby windows and doors when you start cooking a Carolina Reaper. Some of these devilish delights rank 200,000 SHU above pepper spray. Avoid the coughing fit and try to ventilate your kitchen as much as possible.
- Wash everything ASAP. Anyone who’s tasted a Carolina Reaper will tell you that the stinging sensation lasts. But only the brave souls who cook with them know that the burn lingers on any surface that comes into contact with a Reaper. Wipe down the counters, clean all utensils, and throw the kitchen towels in the washing machine once you’re done cooking.
- Less is more. Coming from Pepper Palace chefs, this means a lot. A little goes a long way when you’re cooking raw peppers. If you add too much of a Carolina Reaper to your dish, you won’t be able to taste its rich and sweet flavor profile.
Dangerously Delicious Pairings
Since cooking with Carolina Reapers can be a pain, literally, we recommend using pre-made salsas, jams, and rubs. As long as you know how to pair the fruity flavor profile of a Pepper Palace Reaper Pepper sauce, your dish will be a steamy success. Here are some sure-fire recipes guaranteed to satisfy flavor cravers and chiliheads alike:
You don’t have to sell your soul to the devil to get that stinging sensation and sweet flavor you crave — not with the Reaper around. Just one taste of a Pepper Palace Reaper Pepper product will be enough to test your mettle as a spice lover.