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Fiery chilli weapon unleashed

Published on 19 Jul. 2011 1:40 AM IST
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For those who prefer their curry to be a mild korma instead of a ferocious vindaloo, step away now. But even those with a taste for the hot stuff might quiver at the latest chilli to hit the high street - because Tesco is bringing the Naga King chilli, the world’s hottest commercially grown chilli, to its shelves. The chilli- also known as the Ghost Chilli/Bhut Jolokia- is so fiery, the Indian Army has used the pungent pepper’s ground seeds in smoke grenades, to be used against rioters or to flush out terrorists in confined spaces. 
In the Northeastern India, the peppers are smeared on fences as a safety precaution to keep wild elephants at bay. They originate from the Northeastern region but are now also grown in Bedfordshire. The King chilli is listed by the Guinness Book of Records as being more than 401.5 times hotter than Tabasco sauce.
The heat of a chilli pepper is measured in Scoville Units and the chilli has a reading of just over one million Scovilles at 1,001,304 SHU.
Next week the supermarket will begin selling the explosive chilli, which proved to be so hot that the chain’s exotic vegetable buyer Harry Jones had to attend ‘Bhut Camp’ to acclimatize his palate.
He said: ‘It was suggested the best way to get to grips with its awesome power was to acclimatize gradually and so I’ve had to visit the grower several times to really get to know it. ‘All the daringly hot curries I tried in my student days like a Vindaloo, and even a phal, pale into insignificance next to the Bhut.
‘It’s an incredible sensation as the heat continues to build for a good 30 seconds and all I can say that it’s not for the faint-hearted or anyone with a respiratory condition.’
Tesco says they are stocking the fiery food because of Britain’s current love affair with spicy stuff and hot chilli peppers in general.
Due to the growing demand the store now sells the infamously hot Dorset Naga, Scotch Bonnet, and Bird’s Eye peppers.
Jones: ‘In the last five years there has been a huge growth in demand for hot chilli pepper peppers in the UK which is why we now stock so many different varieties.
‘There are two distinct markets– the foodie market which has grown because of our increasing love for hot and spicy dishes and the macho specialist market which is for hardcore chilli heads as they are known.

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