scovilles More to Heat than Just Scovilles?

When I was first getting into the realm of spicy food, I heard all about the wonders and delights of two peppers in particular: the Scotch Bonnet and the Fatalii. They were pronounced as having excellent flavor (nothing was incorrect here!) and somewhere around the same heat; with Fatalii being just a bit higher. I was interested in trying something new, so I gave both peppers a taste test...
 
The Scotch Bonnet was delightful! Quite sweet upon first bite, with a tomato-y aftertaste. Then came the heat. I was very much an amateur in this realm, so I had no idea what to expect. It was very hot for me at the time, but nothing I couldn't take and think to myself "I've got to cook this into something!"
 
Then came the Fatalii.
 
It was probably a mistake that I chose the red variety (I've heard since that it's a bit hotter than the traditional yellow kind) but this was just a whole new realm than the Scotch Bonnet. My mouth and face were on fire, and nothing I did could quench the flames. It was agonizingly painful, all the way from the back of my throat into my entire mouth and from there up into my ears. To put it simply, the flavor was exceptional but not worth the insane amount of torture to get it.
 
Quite some time later and I can take Scotch Bonnets with no problem at all. Raw or cooked, they just don't faze me (the flavor never gets old though!). The red Fatalii is a different matter. I still feel the same amount of pain, gasping, coughing, and general misery as I did the first time. This leads me to ask a few questions: Is the red Fatalii significantly hotter than the yellow variety? Like, twice as hot or more? Or is something else at play here other than just the Scoville ranking? Are there other forms of heat that the Scoville chart doesn't rank?
 
I think the red and yellow are about the same heat. The yellow has better flavor. Both light me up the same. Intense stabbing pain. I love them!
 
The heat comes from capsaicinoids found in the peppers (primarily the placenta). There are a couple of different capsaicinoids. Capsaicinoids is the most common, but dihydrocapsaicin is also fairly common.

I don't know if there's any serious research or analysis of the types of capsaicinoids in pepper varieties, but I've heard that the "burn" from different capsaicinoids feels very different, and affects different parts of the mouth. Maybe that's what you're experiencing?

Scoville heat units are a pretty crude way of measuring heat. It's only a measurement of how long the burn lasts, rather than how intense it is. Iirc the SHU rating is roughly how many teaspoons (?) of sugar water you need to drink before the burn goes away.
 

salsalady

Business Member
Google Wilbur Scoville for more info. He's the one who figured out the sugar water to heat equation. Since 1980, pungency is measured in a lab using high performance liquid chromatography. There are over 20 capsaicinoid compounds, and it is like marruk said. They are present in different amounts in different peppers and effect the body and mouth differently.
 
salsalady said:
Google Wilbur Scoville for more info. He's the one who figured out the sugar water to heat equation. Since 1980, pungency is measured in a lab using high performance liquid chromatography. There are over 20 capsaicinoid compounds, and it is like marruk said. They are present in different amounts in different peppers and effect the body and mouth differently.
Sounds good, thanks for the info. It does make sense that not all capsaicinoids would be made equal, and that they would produce different results.
 
On a more practical level, has anyone else tried Fataliis and thought the same thing? Would be interesting to know if it's a common thought or if I'm just particularly sensitive to Fataliis for some reason haha. Also would be interesting to see if someone has tried both the red and yellow varieties and either agrees or disagrees with what I saw in quite a few other places, that the red is a bit hotter than the yellow (350,000 to 500,000).
 

The Hot Pepper

Founder
Admin
What happened was you upped your tolerance. It happens when you eat spicy regularly. 
 
Eat a few superhots. Weaker peppers won't seem as overwhelming since you'll have that experience to compare it to.
 

The Hot Pepper

Founder
Admin
Yup and there will also always be low heat peppers that getcha.
 
"You sure that is a jalapeno? My mouth is on fire!" But you regularly eat reapers.
 
I want to preface this by saying that I've only had maybe 8 or 10 red Fataliis, all from the same source. I've eaten a zillion yellow Fataliis from multiple sources. Based solely on my very limited experience with the red Fataliis, i don't consider then to be the same chile at all. Beyond the typical red vs yellow differences, the flavor, texture of the outer walls, wall thickness, etc were markedly different. Also, the red seemed markedly hotter than the yellow; then again, I always read comparable reds being significantly hotter than their yellow counterparts. But maybe that's just my idiosyncrasies, and that very limited experience I had with a hand full of red Fataliis in one SFRB a little while back.

Now that we got that out of the way, I gotta say that yellow Bonnets and yellow Fataliis are probably my two favorite chiles. They have a lot of similarities in terms of heat level and flavor; I think that I prefer Bonnets bc Fataliis have a slight but significant bitterness, whereas most yellow Bonnets do not. But otherwise, they both taste like good yellow chinense pods: a lot of fruity flavor and some smoky notes, but less floral or perfume flavors than typical habs might have.

The primary difference in the general character of Bonnets vs Fataliis is that there's basically one yellow Fatalii strain. On the other hand, there's a zillion yellow Bonnet strains, and it seems like more pop up daily but, as skeptical as I am about all of that, a lot of them do have significant differences in terms of heat, flavor, and pod structure.

That being said, some yellow Bonnets are noticeably less hot than the typical Fatalii. But most of them are right in that same heat neighborhood, which i'd guesstimate to be in the 350k shu range. However, the burn profile is way different. Bonnets are like most other common chinense varieties; they show a lil kick up front and the burn steadily builds until it hits its apex a few minutes in and then it steadily subsides. Fataliis, on the other hand, come out swinging. It's an immediate kick to the teeth the moment you bite the pod, and it very quickly builds to an apex and holds that high point a while before subsiding. Overall, the experience is more kickazz with the Fatalii, but I think that the highest pain I feel with the Bonnet is right up there with the highest pain of the Fatalii. It's just the shape of the curve, and the duration of the top-level burn, that differs.

Get a hold of a Yella Brainstrain pod. Similar flavor profile, but at least 3 or 4 times the heat. Starts out really hot, and then steadily builds to higher levels than any other yellow pod I've tried. After experiencing that, you probably won't see as much of a gap between Bonnet heat and Fatalii heat....️️️
 
Bicycle808 said:
I want to preface this by saying that I've only had maybe 8 or 10 red Fataliis, all from the same source. I've eaten a zillion yellow Fataliis from multiple sources. Based solely on my very limited experience with the red Fataliis, i don't consider then to be the same chile at all. Beyond the typical red vs yellow differences, the flavor, texture of the outer walls, wall thickness, etc were markedly different. Also, the red seemed markedly hotter than the yellow; then again, I always read comparable reds being significantly hotter than their yellow counterparts. But maybe that's just my idiosyncrasies, and that very limited experience I had with a hand full of red Fataliis in one SFRB a little while back.

Now that we got that out of the way, I gotta say that yellow Bonnets and yellow Fataliis are probably my two favorite chiles. They have a lot of similarities in terms of heat level and flavor; I think that I prefer Bonnets bc Fataliis have a slight but significant bitterness, whereas most yellow Bonnets do not. But otherwise, they both taste like good yellow chinense pods: a lot of fruity flavor and some smoky notes, but less floral or perfume flavors than typical habs might have.

The primary difference in the general character of Bonnets vs Fataliis is that there's basically one yellow Fatalii strain. On the other hand, there's a zillion yellow Bonnet strains, and it seems like more pop up daily but, as skeptical as I am about all of that, a lot of them do have significant differences in terms of heat, flavor, and pod structure.

That being said, some yellow Bonnets are noticeably less hot than the typical Fatalii. But most of them are right in that same heat neighborhood, which i'd guesstimate to be in the 350k shu range. However, the burn profile is way different. Bonnets are like most other common chinense varieties; they show a lil kick up front and the burn steadily builds until it hits its apex a few minutes in and then it steadily subsides. Fataliis, on the other hand, come out swinging. It's an immediate kick to the teeth the moment you bite the pod, and it very quickly builds to an apex and holds that high point a while before subsiding. Overall, the experience is more kickazz with the Fatalii, but I think that the highest pain I feel with the Bonnet is right up there with the highest pain of the Fatalii. It's just the shape of the curve, and the duration of the top-level burn, that differs.

Get a hold of a Yella Brainstrain pod. Similar flavor profile, but at least 3 or 4 times the heat. Starts out really hot, and then steadily builds to higher levels than any other yellow pod I've tried. After experiencing that, you probably won't see as much of a gap between Bonnet heat and Fatalii heat....️️️
I will definitely have to try one of those, but it'll probably almost kill me haha. And thanks for giving me such a thorough answer, it completely answered my questions!
 
I'm not a pepper expert, but from my experience, different kinds of peppers have different kinds of burn. Jalapeños burn my whole mouth with a warm heat. Ghost peppers send a searing line down the center of my tongue and down my throat, just like hot molten metal, then it spreads from there. It's a sharp, stabbing, searing heat, like a hot piece of metal.

We can't cook much of anything without ghost pepper in it any more. The flavor is amazing. I drop a piece into the boiling water while noodles cook and they soak up the flavor (and heat) like a sponge.

I have had ghosts that were very mild and some that I swore were 10 mil+. I cut one particular ghost open and we had to evacuate the house it was so bad. We couldn't breathe, see, or smell. It was completely overpowering as soon as it was opened. Absolutely insane. I saved those seeds! I try to save the seeds from the hottest peppers in their own container, separate from the regular seeds. That way I can grow super hot or just plain hot.

You never know what's inside a pod.
 
You remember The Box from Dune? Pubes are like that to me. Take a bite and you taste that juicy fruit, then you detect this slight little tingle, then your lips start to burn, then your fingers start to burn, then your septum starts to burn, then the heat increases, then you feel an intense burning, then your lips are on fire, then it's flesh dripping off the bone, then it gets even hotter. Then it stays like that for TWO DAYS. When pubes come into season, I'm burning all over for well over two months. I think it's because they have a thicker oil or something.
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aTjUzT-xto4
 
Bicycle808 said:
For real, Pods? Two DAYS?
 
When that oil gets into your skin and lips, it lingers. I don't use gloves or wash my hands when messing with chilis, so it usually hangs around for quite some time!
 
podz said:
 
When that oil gets into your skin and lips, it lingers. I don't use gloves or wash my hands when messing with chilis, so it usually hangs around for quite some time!
I've eaten Manzanos a bunch of times. They're weird bc they aren't that hot, but the existence is different for me than it is for Chinense, Baccatums, and most annuums... Like, it makes me panic a bit, like a good jalapeño trends to do, but not as crazy. But the effect is done-ion rings within fifteen minutes.
 
Bicycle808 said:
I've eaten Manzanos a bunch of times. They're weird bc they aren't that hot, but the existence is different for me than it is for Chinense, Baccatums, and most annuums... Like, it makes me panic a bit, like a good jalapeño trends to do, but not as crazy. But the effect is done-ion rings within fifteen minutes.
 
I have seen Manzano Rojo described as ranging from 25-50k, whereas Montufar is described as ranging from 50-100k.
 
However, the Montufars I bought from the supermarket last summer were not nearly as hot as the Manzanos I grew. They were like a persistent chemical agent and that slow burn just dragged on forever. The Montufars were grown for weight in a commercial greenhouse, so I am guessing they were never stressed. My Manzanos lived outside in a brutally dry and hot summer, very frequently in bone-dry dirt. Might have something to do with why they were so damned hot. I fell in love.
 
I was told you can make peppers hotter by picking the first ones before they ripen. Supposedly the plant sees it as a threat and makes the next pods hotter so animals aren't inclined to eat them.
 

The Hot Pepper

Founder
Admin
Ruid said:
I was told you can make peppers hotter by picking the first ones before they ripen. Supposedly the plant sees it as a threat and makes the next pods hotter so animals aren't inclined to eat them.
 
No, don't waste early pods. You can do the same thing with a stuffed raccoon next to the plant. 
 
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