I don’t run away from danger or dares . . . it’s not one of my best traits, however it does make life interesting. So when my boyfriend and I discovered a Bhut Jolokia aka Ghost Pepper Plant, at Niagara County Produce last spring, there was no question that it would be coming home with us to live in the container garden.
All summer we waited for a sign of life on the plant and finally, at the beginning of fall, one pepper appeared. He warned me not to eat it and all I kept thinking was, “how bad could it be?” So, I waited for him to not be home (actually living in another city for work) when I finally mustered up the courage to try it. Just cutting the tip off the hot red pepper, and placing it on my tongue, was enough for it to set my mouth and throat ablaze.
The Ghost Pepper originates from India and ranked at one million Scoville heat units, making it the hotest pepper in the world. Its ranking indicates the amount of capsaicin present. Capsaicin is a chemical compound that stimulates chemoreceptor nerve endings in the skin.
If you’re not partial to spice, the Ghost Pepper is not for you. However, if your palate favors food with heat then cook with it cautiously.
Ghost Pepper Salsa
6 fresh tomatoes
1 Ghost Pepper
Juice of 1 lime
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 Red onion
2 – 3 garlic cloves
1 tbsp vinegar
Salt and pepper
Finely chop or process (depending on how chunky you prefer) the tomatoes, onion and garlic. Separately, finely chop the Ghost Pepper wearing gloves. Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste. Chill in the fridge until ready to serve with tortilla chips. Yields 4 – 6 servings.