A record-breaking chilli that comes with a health warning and is only sold to over-18s has gone on sale in a New Mills greengrocer.
The ‘California Reaper’ is officially the world’s strongest chilli with a rating on the ‘scoville scale’ over one and a half times that of previous record-holder, the ‘Naga Ghost’.
It is imported into this country from Europe by Market Street-based greengrocer, The Veg Box, whose owner, Mathew Taylor, 42, tried for eight months to get an export licence.
He said: “It actually has quite a nice flavour but you would be in a world of pain if you ate it raw. I know of one lad locally who tried it and had hiccups for 24 hours.
“It’s mainly to be used in cooking where it gives a beautiful heat and flavour, but you certainly don’t have to use a lot!
“There is a certain ‘man thing’ element to eating the world’s hottest chilli definitely but, as they say, some people just like it hot.”
The chilli has held the record for the last three years and is 500 times hotter than Tabasco sauce and ten times hotter than a Scotch Bonnet.
Mathew says he has already had a lot of interest from the local area where pubs and Indian restaurants have started using it, as well as from around the country where he has received orders from as far and wide as Devon, Edinburgh and London.
He was granted a licence to import them from a dealer in Belgium after toxicology tests were complete and sells them at 50p from the shop or £1 on Ebay.
Mathew says interest in his shop has gone ‘absolutely ballistic’ since they started selling it and thinks it is proof of how much chillis have taken off in recent years with people using them in cooking and even growing them at home.