While Mexico is notorious for its hot chilies, the world’s hottest does not come from anywhere in Latin America, but instead, can be found in a town in North Wales.
Dragon’s Breath Chili, as its been named, is the hottest pepper in the world and was created by Mike Smith, a fruit producer and and researcher at Nottingham Trent University in North Wales.
The tiny chili, which is the size of a fingernail, is considered the hottest with oils so potent it’s able to numb the skin and serve as a natural anesthetic.
Mike Smith who is a fruit grower and competitive show-gardener from Denbighshire in Wales, was attempting to create an aesthetically pleasing chili tree to enter into the UK’s famous Chelsea Flower Show.
“It was a complete accident but I’m chuffed to bits – it’s a lovely looking tree,” he said.
Although the intention was to enter a garden competition, the chili was grown in collaboration with scientists from Nottingham Trent University who were interested in the medicinal use of chilies as an anesthetic.
The pepper was developed for medicinal purposes as a type of topical anesthesia, being able to numb the skin and prove beneficial for those who are allergic to certain anesthetics.
Dragon’s Breath is so potent that it needs to be kept in a sealed container. No attempts have been made to inhale the scent since it has been determined that inhaling it can close the airway.
It is not possible to create chili sauce from the Dragon’s Breath pepper.
Mike Smith is waiting for Guinness Book to verify his pepper is the world’s hottest. While he waits, his chili tree was awarded Plant of the Year.
The previous record-holder for hottest chili in the world was the Carolina Reaper.