Until 2010 a hot pepper known as the “Ghost Pepper” was the hottest in the world, ranking one million on the SHU (Scoville Heat Unit) scale, 400 times hotter than a jalapeno and while they have since been surpassed by other peppers, they are still creating a small enterprising business at Cal Poly through their farm store.
22-year-old student Kirk Weatherton is growing the plant, also known as bhut jolokia while wearing gloves to protect his hands, he says he once touched his face after handling the peppers and had to deal with a burning face for hours.
According to people who have bitten into the pepper, the effects are not immediately witnessed, while a ribbon of fire from the mouth to belly eventually overwhelms the person who consumed the pepper. Some pepper trying victims claim that the next morning is even worse than the original experience.
The peppers can be purchased from the Cal Poly Pomona Farm Store and according to sales receipts approximately six pounds are bought each week, even though a sign near the peppers advises customers to handle the peppers at their own risk and warns against serving them to unsuspecting friends. The peppers are sold next to tongs and a small zip-lock bag.
You can contact the store at www.csupomona.edu/~farmstore or call 909-869-4906