Ed Currie set out more than a decade ago to make a pepper that could claim the title as the hottest in the world. More than 2 years ago, Guinness officially dubbed his Carolina Reaper The World's Hottest. It was an honor that almost brings tears to Ed's eyes even today.
"God is so amazing, just the gifts," Ed said from the kitchen of his retail store in Downtown Fort Mill. Pucker Butt Pepper Company has exploded in size since the title. Ed now ships hundreds of orders daily all over the world.
But he wasn't satisfied. So he set out to create a pepper that's even hotter. The Carolina Reaper measures a 1.6 million units on the Scoville Scale. For some perspective, a jalapeno pepper measures around 6,000 units. the newest pepper Ed has created through a painstaking process is called simply HP56 and measures almost 3 million units.
It is hot.
Thursday, we visited Ed in his kitchen for a taste of the new batch. At first, it didn't seem hot at all. A few seconds in, still nothing. Just when it seemed the newest pepper soon to be submitted for a new world record, was a dud... it wasn't.
Fire. Explosions. Pain. All in your mouth, all at once. That's what this new pepper is like.
Ed plans to perfect it before submitting it for record consideration, which will involve many more hours of work.
But it's a work that he loves. With a bonus of being able to tell people, "It's not that hot" and just laugh and laugh when they believe him and chomp down on one of his peppers.