I went on an exhaustive journey to find the spiciest foods in the world. Because some like it hot and some like it really hot.
These are the spiciest foods on the planet.
Looking for purple foods? Read my 40+ Purple Foods List article.
Spicy Foods List
For all you heat seekers, the foods on this list are popular dishes, snacks, hot sauces, peppers and other edibles (like the hottest horseradish).
1. The Caroline Reaper
The Caroline Reaper is the spiciest pepper in the world. It was first found in the state of South Carolina and that is how it got its name. There are hotter peppers out there like the Dragon but it’s not meant for eating, but rather to treat
What are Scoville heat units?
Scoville heat units, also known as SHU are a measurement of the number of times capsaicin needs to be diluted by sugar-water. The number of Scoville Heat Units (SHU) indicates the amount of capsaicin present. The higher the Scoville rating, the hotter the pepper/hot sauce.
The World’s Hottest Pepper Is Actually Lethal
2. Mad Dog 357 No. 9 Plutonium Hot Sauce
This isn’t so much a hot sauce as it is a death wish. The extract registers 9 million on the Scoville scale, and it’s 60 percent pure capsicum. A bolded, all caps, red warning on the site reads: DO NOT CONSUME DIRECTLY – FOOD ADDITIVE ONLY!
3. Widower Curry
People have actually been known to hallucinate after eating it. It is served at the Bindi Restaurant in Grantham, England.
4. Korean Red Hot Garlic
Thomas Farms from Corralitos (Santa Cruz County) offers Korean Red Hot garlic, said to be the spiciest and most robust around.
5. The Paqui Carolina Reaper Potato Chip
The world’s spiciest potato chip is so brutal there’s only one per package. Made from the hottest pepper on the planet.
6. Great Balls of Fire Fritters
The habanero-soaked Great Balls of Fire fritters at Salvador Molly’s in Portland, Oregon, will test even the greatest spicy fanatics. The Portland, Oregon, restaurant challenges diners to clean their plates for a chance to be honored in the eatery’s Hall of Flame.
7. Herr’s Carolina Reaper Cheese Curls
What is the hottest snack in the world? Herr’s Carolina Reaper Cheese Curls are chips made with the world’s hottest pepper! Dieffenbach’s Sweet Ghost Pepper Potato Chips are a slightly spicy chip with a splash of vinegar and a dash of pineapple.
8. Cayenne Peppers
Cayenne peppers make the list because they are the most popular pepper in the world. Cayennes range from 30,000 to 50,000 Scoville Heat Units, similar to a serrano pepper. The majority of hot sauces rely on cayenne for the kick, especially if the sauce contains vinegar.
9. Spicy Tuna Rolls – Seppuku Challenge
People come to Bushido in Charleston, South Carolina, to attempt a spicy tuna roll challenge. The Japanese restaurant’s Seppuku Challenge (“seppuku” is the ritual suicide samurai committed in battle) dares diners to eat 10 increasingly spicy hand rolls stuffed with cucumbers, tuna, and habanero peppers.
10. Jalapeño Peppers
Jalapeños have the distinction of being the most popular North American pepper. They can be stuffed, pickled, or used in a variety of dishes. The dried and smoked version of these hot peppers is known as chipotle pepper.
11. Nuclear Buffalo Wings
Alliger’s House of Wings (aka chicken wings, buffalo wings, hot wings) prides itself on its spiciest sauce, known as the “nuclear.” Alliger’s atomic wing sauce scores 120,000 on the Scoville Scale — the standard measuring system for spicy heat.
12. Hottest Horseradish
Beaver Extra Hot Horseradish is the perfect condiment for anyone who likes food spicy… really spicy food. Their horseradish is made with 100% pure, fresh grated horseradish roots and classically pairs with any red meat. Mix with mayonnaise to minimize the heat.
13. Buldak Bokkeummyon (Instant Noodles)
South Korean company Samyang Foods released the world’s spiciest instant noodle. Buldak Extra Spicy Roasted Chicken Ramen has a rating of about 8,000 Scoville Heat Units.
14. Death By Pizza
The world’s hottest pizza contains a sauce made from twenty Trinidad Moruga Scorpion chilies. The sauce is slathered on a regular pizza, kicking up the heat to a whopping 12 million Scoville units. The pizza is the star of an eating challenge.
15. Vato Loco Cocktail
What is the spiciest alcoholic drink? Vato Loco is the hottest drink on Earth and involves seven different kinds of chiles. It’s served at Mercadito in Chicago. You’ll have to sign a waiver before you can drink it.
16. Reaper Taco
The Reaper Taco at Gringo’s Tacos in New Jersey is spicy. These tacos are made with Carolina Reaper powder. You have to sign a waiver to eat them.
17. The Flaming Ron Pie
From Ron Bruns’ Bremen Patisserie in Australia, the Flaming Ron meat pie includes three of the world’s hottest chilis. The combination of Trinidad Scorpion Butch T peppers, Naga Jolokia chilis, and habenero peppers are what give the Flaming Ron its heat. The pie is recorded as being over 300 times hotter than a jalapeño.
18. Gaeng Tai Pla (Thai Curry)
If you attempt to order this Thai curry, don’t be offended when a waiter tells you that it’s extremely spicy – they’re just looking out for you. Gaeng Tai Pla features fermented fish innards, dried chiles, galangal, turmeric and kaffir leaves, fish, pumpkin, eggplant, yardlong beans, and bamboo shoots for one devastatingly spicy curry.
19. The 4 Horsemen Burger
Chunky’s in San Antonio, Texas serves up The 4 Horsemen Burger and tops it with jalapenos, serrano chiles, a habanero sauce and the infamous ghost chile. Since its inception, only four people have managed to take it down.
Did you know?
The world’s hottest pepper (Dragon’s Breath chili) is not edible and spicy enough to kill you. Developed in North Wales, it’s actually used to treat people who are allergic to anesthetics, as the pepper is literally so hot it can be used to numb the skin.
Spicy Food FAQs
Why is food spicy?
BluIt turns out that capsaicin – the active ingredient in spicy food – binds to a special class of vanilloid receptor inside our mouth called VR1 receptors. After capsaicin binds to these receptors, the sensory neuron is depolarized, and it sends along a signal indicating the presence of spicy stimuli.
Why do people like spicy food?
Eating spicy can cause you to release endorphins — a happy chemical which gives you an instant feeling of pleasure from head to toe. People crave the spicy foods just like they crave sweets or salty foods.
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