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Mar 2, 2007 10:14 AM

Spiciest Food You've Ever Eaten?

What is the spiciest food you have ever eaten? Not a pepper, but a food.

For me, I believe it was the XXX buffalo chicken sandwich at Louie's Lunch, a food truck on Cornell's campus. The sandwich comes with various ratings, which I believe were something like G, PG, R, X, and XXX. I used to get the X, and that was pleasantly spicy for me. Just enough of that lingering burning sensation. The buffalo sauce that they use is delicious too. One day I decided to try the XXX rating of the sandwich. A friend tried it also. This was the first time that eating a food actually made tears roll down my cheeks. My friend and I both finished the sandwich, and it was fun for a challenge, but it wasn't something I'd get on a regular basis. The good old X rating was fine for me. Though I am a spicy food fanatic, I still have not found something else that made my eyes water like that, and that was 3 years ago.

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  1. Love spicy. Spiciest ever was Szechuan in the San Gabriel Valley. We had eel, chicken, fish stew, and more. It was like my mouth was vibrating from the spice. Much hotter than habaneros.

    24 Replies
    1. re: mojoeater

      Not to downplay the spicyness of the food you ate, but it wasn't spicier than HabaƱero, the world's spiciest pepper.

      1. re: mangiatore

        There are peppers hotter than habaneros. Also habaneros vary in scoville units. In addition there are different parts of the mouth, throat, and stomach where the heat is perceived and some peppers cause heat to be felt in different ways. So some peppers that aren't as hot may feel hotter because the pain is in more sensitive parts of the mouth and/or feels sharper.

        1. re: JMF

          All peppers vary in scoville units from one pepper to the next, but habaneros are off the charts. From everything I have read (and experienced), there's no known pepper that even comes close. If you have any info that contradicts this I'd be interested in reading it.

          1. re: mangiatore

            The Dorset Naga - which is going to start being available in the States this spring (?) - is now one of the world's hottest. Here's an article: Check out that red - if that doesn't trigger a primordial warning I don't know what would.

            There are also some chiles in Africa that are supposed to be deadly hot. I'm still trying to track those down.

            Habaneros are okay but have too much of a tropical fruit taste. For every day use I have a blend of pequins, and assorted collected chiles.

            1. re: hooliganyouth

              Oh my god! Those look TERRIFYING, and I want some.

              I can believe that chilies in Africa could be lethal, Ethiopian food is among the hottest foods I've had!

              1. re: ballulah

                check out this photo. it actually made me cringe.

                1. re: ballulah

                  Re: African peppers, in Salavador do Bahia I had a little pimento made with tiny (3 cm, smaller than bird's eye) chiles that was incindiary. Even though at the time I was in the habit of putting tabasco in my salad and chomping on raw jalepenos, with just a dash on a fish dish I had to stop eating and couldn't focus for hours. I saw yellow and green versions of these in brasil; I think it is the malagueta.

                  The hottest thing I ever ate was a mistaken recipe for Malaccan "devil pork". It was designated as one of the hottest recipes in this "Fire and Spice" asian cookbook. I had this large plastic container of dried habaneros, and I foolishly failed to notice that the recipe (which I was tripling so I could have leftovers) measured the chiles by weight and called for fresh, not dried. I was supposed to make a paste, and I think it corroded my cuisinart. The smell upon pulsing probably caused permanent damage to my olfactories. I did manage to get the stuff on the pork, but my hands were like throbbing from touching it. During the cooking the air throughout my apartment caused coughing. When I tasted a dash of it after cooking it, I was dizzy, disoriented and my ears buzzed. I had to throw it away.

                2. re: hooliganyouth

                  I agree, habaneros are not the best chili around. Not to state the obvious, but they're too damn hot! I'm with you on the taste as well.

                  1. re: mangiatore

                    Oh, I have to disagree. Habs have a wonderful fruit flavor underneath the heat. My wife makes a hab-lime cheesecake that is wonderful.

                    1. re: zebcook

                      Zebcook, your wife's cheesecake sounds fantastic -- would you be so kind as to post the recipe?

                      1. re: Marianna215

                        She had it briefly appear on the Food Network (as part of a show), so they have her recipe online...


                  2. re: hooliganyouth

                    I've seen and tasted the Naga peppers in Southeast Asia. They are so hot it is actually painful and must be used VERY sparingly, but the thing about them is their smell. I'm not sure exactly how to describe it but it makes your mouth AND eyes water.

                    1. re: adrienne156

                      I get that impression. What dish did you have them in? One article I read about the Nagas said that the restaurant only had them around to smell. What kind of scent do they have? Sorry for all the questions but I'm obsessed with these monsters.

                  3. re: mangiatore

                    Habaneros are old news when it comes to heat. they are around 100,000-350,000 scoville units (SU)

                    Like hooligan says there is the Dorset Naga at 875,000-970,000 scoville units .

                    Before that you had the Red Savina (580,000+ SU) which until the dorset naga came along was one of the hottest peppers.

                    There is the Caribbean Red at 445,000 Scoville units

                    The Congo Trinidad which is hotter than a habanero

                    The Fatalii, a yellow pepper from Africa which is scorching, much hotter than a habanero

                    There's the Jamaican Hot chocolate and Jamaican Yellow peppers similar to very hot habaneros

                    The Red Mushroom and the Yellow Mushroom which are hotter than habaneros

                    Right now the worlds Hottest pepper is the Bhut Jolokia pepper from India (also called Ghost Chilis) which is much hotter than the Dorset naga at 1,001,304 Scoville units



                    1. re: JMF

                      I was with you there up to that last claim. Stating that a pepper's heat can actually be measured to the accuracy of 1,001,304 Scoville units is so completely ludicrous as to kill the credibility of the entire posting!

                      You do know what a Scoville unit is, right? It's the dilution level (parts pepper to parts water) necessary before you can't taste the heat anymore. It is ALWAYS an approximation, a way of comparing the relative heat of different peppers, not a precise measurement. It's not like you put the pepper into a machine that spits out an exact number.

                      1. re: BobB

                        That's the figure stated for recording purposes. As far as I know they do a lot of testing and then average it out.

                        1. re: BobB

                          Here's the report of a team of scientists measuring that pepper:


                          1. re: BobB

                            Blair's Extreme Foods makes a concentrated sauce that they measure at 16,000,000 SU.

                          2. re: JMF

                            The Jamaican Hots you mention, do you mean Scotch Bonnets? They are hot as all get out, but they actually have wonderful flavor. I made a chili cook off chili with 4 chocolate Scotch Bonnets (and others) and it had really great front and back heat.

                            1. re: ballulah

                              They are a distinct type of the habanero family.

                            2. re: JMF

                              I found this on the TepIn pepper (tey-peeen)


                              I accidentally ate a dried chili pepper that came in a wicked kung pao chicken dish I had, pulling it out of my mouth when I realized what I was doing, and my mouth and tongue were numb for 10 minutes, not to mention the profuse sweating and watery eyes. I also touched my face with the fingers that pulled out the pepper and burned my forehead.

                              And that was likely was not even a very hot pepper. I cannot imagine eating a dried version of those peppers listed above. I love adventurous foods, but I am not crazy.

                              1. re: cooknKate

                                These guys are really tasty - I usually have a good amount of them on hand for spicing/heat/sauces/free basing. They have a gorgeous color when ground as well.

                                A helpful suggestion - if you're confronted with that kind of heat and need something to cut it ASAP eat some of a sugar packet.

                        2. re: mangiatore

                          I eat both red and orange habaneros on a regular basis. I had a dish at Barnacle Bills in Cairns in North Queensland Australia once that was many times hotter than any habanero that I have ever eaten. The dish was called a seafood curry, but it was more like jambalaya. I had mucous pouring out of my nose for a long while after taking my first bite. It was the most unbelievably hot thing that I have ever experienced. I could not eat it.

                        3. re: mojoeater

                          its the szechuan peppercorns that make your mouth vibrate. I love em

                        4. Chicken Larb @ Phoo Thai in Austin, Tx. The resturant is long closed, but they had five levels of heat: no heat, mild, hot, thai style (what the cooks eat), and Phil Style (phil was some crazy customer of theirs). I thought i was tough for eating thai style now and then, but one day i had the phil style - it was purple! and made my ears filled up with fluid (it was like a religoius experience.)

                          1. In Monterrey, Mexico there's a little restaurant where nuns serve as the waitstaff (or at least the waitstaff are all dressed up like nuns...they insisted it was legit, but I have my suspicions). For breakfast, they serve a delicious version of chilaquiles (fried fresh corn tortillas with queso blanco) that arrives at your table drenched in a bright red chile oil. It tasted good enough that I fought through the pain of eating it. The pain lasted in my mouth for over an hour and only subsided after several cups of hot cafe con leche. But then the burn in my stomach started (and I'm talking chile burn--not heartburn or a stomach ache--but deep internal organ, inflamed liver, ulcer inducing burn). It lasted more than a day. I've never experienced anything like it before or since. And it was worth it--I'd order it again.

                            Stateside, there used to be a great place in Santa Fe called Tecolote. Their Sheepherder's Breakfast comes with your choice of red (chipotle) or green (Hatch chile) sauces. And depending on the chiles, that green sauce can be pretty lethal too. But delicious. My favorite dish/restaurant in all of New Mexico.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: jamonito

                              I've been to that place in Monterey! Best enchiladas I've ever had, though they weren't spicy.

                              And the nuns are fake. Sorry.

                            2. First date with Mrs Jfood. 1980 and we were double-dating with a B-School colleague. Furst dinner in Chinatown (a Szachuan resto, not my choice obviously, see next sentence) and then a Frank Sinatra Concert. Jfood and the to become Mrs Jfood do NOT like spice and told my then to be ex-buddy of this when we arrived at the resto. Now add that the collegue is trying to prove how macho he is with his date. We order and tell the waiter no hot. As I am chatting with my date, colleague goes to men's room. He returns and food follows. We place some on all the plates and dig in. My freakin' eyes shot out and my ear nearly exploded. What happened?

                              Well as it turns out my colleague wanted to play a joke on me and my date and told the waiter that we really did like extra spicey and could he kick it up. It's a great story now but I could have killed my "buddy."

                              1. It is a tossup .I do not remember the name of the first restaurant, it was Ethiopian iin New York, you ate with your hands. I was sick for two days. The other one was an Elephant and Castle in Toronto, I had a curry that was not a curry it was pure black pepper. I could not eat it.