Dorset Naga - A new world's hottest chile?

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Market growers, Michael and Joy Michaud of Peppers By Post appear to have a serious contender to take the world's hottest pepper title away from the Red Savina!

Over the last few years they have selectively bred seed from the Naga Morich, which is popular with the UK Bangladeshi community. They were primarily selecting for the size and shape of the pods, but as it turns out they ended up with a chile that packs quite a wallop as well.

They grow their chiles in high tunnels in West Dorset, UK. In 2005 they sent samples from the plants in their warmest tunnel to two testing labs in the United States and the results came back with some surprising numbers. The first test came back with a result of 876,000 Scoville Heat Units. To verify that first test a second was performed by another lab, which came back with an even higher 970,000!

To give you some idea, the official record holder is the Red Savina Habanero which was tested at 577,000 Scoville. I've eaten a couple of the Red Savinas and their reputation is well earned, they are a damn hot pepper.

I've heard other people comment, and I tend to agree with them, that there are quite a few other capsicum chinense that are as hot or hotter than your average Red Savina, but no one seems to want to put up the money to test these non-patented varieties. As the Michauds have applied for a PVP on the Dorset Naga it was worth it for them to run the tests.

They plan to have some samples tested from the 2006 crop to get an idea about whether the results are repeatable. Even if they are not, I still want some of the seeds!