Often eaten with nachos or sprinkled on pizza, the jalapeno is well known in Singapore. It is the mildest chilli on the list, measuring 3,500 to 8,000 Scoville units. It is named after the town Xalapa in Mexico where it was first cultivated.
The Aztecs, a nomadic tribe that ruled Mexico in the 15th century, smoked and dried jalapenos to preserve the fruit as it rotted easily. It is thought that chipotle comes from the Aztec word chilpoctli, which means “smoked chilli pepper”.
2. Fijian Bongo Chilli
Although not the hottest, the chilli scores high on the heat list, measuring 100,000-350,000 Scoville units.
The chilli comes from Fiji, and produces pods that are 6cm to 7cm long and 2cm to 3cm wide. When ripe, they turn bright red.
The Bongo Chilli is related to the habanero chilli. The habanero, a type of chilli pepper, caused a school in Colorado to be closed down temporarily and cleaned because students experienced eye and skin irritation when they were exposed to the chilli.
3. Naga Viper British Chilli
It was certified as the hottest chilli on Dec 3, 2010, but it is now the third hottest chilli in the world, measuring 1.38 million Scoville units.The chilli is a hybrid of three chillies: the Bhut Jolokia, Naga Morich and the Trinidad Scorpion.
The chilli was grown in Cumbria, a small county in Britain, by Gerald Fowler, who claimed that the chilli was hot enough to strip paint from other surfaces. It has a wrinkled exterior and the pods are oily.
4. Trinidad Scorpion Butch T
The world’s current second hottest chilli has a rating of 1.46 million Scoville units. This chilli is a genetically modified version of the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion, which is native to Trinidad, an island in the Caribbean.
Called the Trinidad Scorpion Butch T, it was named after Butch Taylor, a chilli pepper grower who discovered the chilli. In March 2011, it was named the world’s hottest chilli by the Guinness World Records. The growers had to wear latex gloves to protect their hands from being burnt by the chilli.
The chilli is known for its irregular shape, ending in a pointed end. It turns from dark green to red as it matures.
5. Carolina Reaper
The Carolina Reaper is currently the world’s hottest chilli. It was certified by the Guinness World Records on Aug 7, 2013. It has a rating of 1.56 million Scoville units.
It is grown in the state of South Carolina in America, hence its name. Mr Ed Currie, the aptly named chilli enthusiast-turned-entrepreneur, cultivated the chilli by crossing the Sweet Habanero and Naga Viper chillies.
It is bright red and has a fruity, hot taste with cinnamon undertones.