Who would have thought that the world’s hottest pepper is grown right here in the great state of South Carolina?

I mean, it’s no secret that the Palmetto State is hot.  Charleston et. al. are constantly landing on the hottest/best lists…  of cities to visit, places to eat, you name it.

In yet another accolade, Southern Living named Charleston the South’s Best City.  For the third year in a row.

Read the whole story here, as written by someone coming to the Holy City for the very first time.

As nice as that sounds, the best (hottest) city in the South  –   it’s hard to get that excited after another national publication has named you the best place on earth to visit.

Anyway, back to hotness.  Yes, it’s true that the temps in the Lowcountry can get a little balmy in the summer months.  Actually, that seems to be the case all up and down the Eastern Seaboard at the moment, and in wide swaths of the country.  The other day, I was shocked to see that northwest of Boston was 94 degrees, while here on the Isle of Palms it was just 87 degrees.  Plus we have the ocean breeze.

But that’s still not the hotness I’m talking about.

It’s pepper hotness, as measured by the Scoville scale.

You’d think that the hottest pepper in the world would be grown somewhere like Mexico.  Or Central America.  Or maybe Asia  –  Thailand, say.

The hometown of the world’s hottest pepper is…


But lo and behold, the world’s hottest pepper is actually grown in Rock Hill, South Carolina.  This, according to the Guinness Book of World Records.

They say the world’s hottest chili pepper is the Carolina Reaper Pepper.  It’s the scorching hybrid child of a Ghost Pepper and a Habanero of the highest order.  And this pepper didn’t come to play.  The overall average of its testing batch clocked in at a whopping 1,641,183 Scoville Heat Units (SHU).  The highest individual pepper was a whole lot hotter than that, but they were having to be scientific about it.

Well, to get in on the pain  –  er, I mean, fun  –  Taco Bell is putting the world’s hottest pepper on its menu.  For a limited time, you can try it for yourself.

Taco Bell is serving up the Steak Reaper Ranch Fries Supreme, as well as the burrito with said pepper sauce, in certain locales.  We’ll see how folks handle it.  Fortunately they’ve blended the world’s hottest pepper with a ranch dressing to take off a bit of the searing edge.

They originally tested the fries in Cincinnati last year.  It went well enough to roll it out and thereby scorch a wider swath of earth.

Read all about it here, from Live 5 News.

Or get it straight from Taco Bell.

So check out the world’s hottest pepper.  And for the hottest Charleston beach house, be sure to contact Exclusive Properties.

All best,
Lowcountry Lisa
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger

photo credit: Mel Miles