There’s a giant outdoor mall in Los Angeles, where I live, called The Grove. Maybe you’ve heard of it—it’s a common tourist destination and hub for Angelinos looking to do some shopping and wander around aimlessly looking at weird restaurants and kiosks. The best part of The Grove is the Farmer’s Market, which has a whole bunch of small eateries and special interest stores. There’s a little sticker store, for example, where you can buy every kind of sticker known to man. But my favorite is the Light My Fire Hot Sauce Store. There, you’ll find thousands of different kinds of hot sauces, in all varieties of colors, flavors, and heat profiles, which they rate from one to ten. But we’re not here to talk about a ten. We’re here to talk about something so hot it would rate as a 35—the hottest hot sauce in the world.
But what is the hottest hot sauce in the world?
Let’s take a look.
When we’re talking about spiciness, we’ve got to talk about the Scoville Scale. The Scoville Scale, named after its inventor, pharmacist William Scoville, measures the pungency of various foods by capsaicinoids (the component that makes peppers spicy). One weakness of the Scoville Scale is that there’s the potential for human error, since it relies on taste testers, so take any of these ratings with a grain of salt (or perhaps Cajun seasoning). Nonetheless, this is the generally accepted method of determining spiciness, and it gives a pretty good picture.
To get a sense of how the Scoville Scale works, sriracha is around 2,500 Scoville units, Tapatio is around 3,000, and Tabasco sauce is around 5,000. Jalapeño peppers weigh in as high as 8,000. However, none of these even comes close to the world’s hottest hot sauce. The hottest hot sauce’s Scoville score is in the millions. Just thinking about it makes me sweat.
The distinction of hottest hot sauce belongs to Mad Dog 357 No. 9 Plutonium. And what is the Mad Dog 357 Scoville number, you ask? Nine million (hence the No. 9 in the name).
According to the company’s website, “A single atom of plutonium is capable of immense heat and destruction. This pepper extract is one of the hottest and purest in the entire world. If you just want a little heat in your food, this is NOT the extract for you. This little bottle is for the true aficionado of heat, the one who wants to test the limits, to see how explosive pepper heat can be. Blow something up at supper tonight.”
As if that’s not enough, there’s also an extensive disclaimer warning about the potential ill effects of ingesting this spice bomb. We’re talking “serious injury.” And if that’s STILL not enough, I would just like to add that pepper spray, the stuff they spray in your eyes to incapacitate you, tops out at about 5 million Scoville Units.
So, now you know the spiciest hot sauce in the world and nothing is preventing you from going out and buying it right now (except for maybe the price tag—it’s $120!). But first, you might want to just try adding a few more shakes of Tabasco onto your dinner to see how that treats you and your digestive system.
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