Growing Ghost Peppers

I have published a test on beneficial bacteria using ghost peppers. These are one of the hottest peppers in the world (they were the hottest in 2007, but have been surpassed by other peppers since then). They are hotter than jalapeƱo and hotter than habaneras. I used latex gloves when handling the seeds since the hottest part of peppers is the part where the seeds are. It is possible that the ‘hotness’ evolved as a defense mechanism so that animals did not eat the seeds but only the flesh. Or, like many crops the ‘hotness’ could be do to breeding.

The “hotness” is from a substance called capsaicin. There are capsaicin glands near the seeds, usually at the top of the pepper. The placenta is the part where the seed attaches to the pepper pod. In most peppers the number of capsaicin glands are higher toward the end with the stem (The stem is called a peduncle) so if you are ever in a challenge, go first, take a bite by the tip (the tip is called the apex) and let the next guy take a bite closer to the peduncle.

GHOST PEPPERS ARE NOT SOLD IN STORES BECAUSE THEY CAN CAUSE PHYSICAL HARM DO NOT JOKE OR PLAY AROUND WITH THESE PEPPERS! A friend of mine took a little nibble of the apex and his nose and mouth turned red and burned for hours.

The name ghost pepper is actually due to English speakers mispronouncing and/or misspelling its name. Another name for this pepper is Bhut jolokia (they are from India) The name is based on the region it is from, but if you spell it wrong it is translated as ghost.

Good Growing
Dr. E.R. Myers

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