Red Scorpion chile peppers are petite, only 2-3 inches in length and ½-1 inch in width. Though their exterior color can be varying combinations of red, orange and green they are most often picked and at their hottest when they are a vibrant red hue. Their skin is shiny and smooth, with slight wrinkling and indented grooves that run along the length of the chile. The tip of the chile curves and comes to a small point, a signature characteristic of the Red Scorpion chile and the reason behind its name. Both the interior seeds and flesh of the interior are hot. Its flavor has been described as slightly floral though difficult to recognize due to the chiles extreme, nearly unbearable heat.
Red Scorpion chile peppers are available from late spring to late summer.
A member of the species Capsicum, the Red Scorpion chile pepper is a hybrid of the Chinese and frutescens species. Registering in between 1,400,000 and 2,000,000 Scoville units the heat of the Red Scorpion chile towers over other well-known varieties such as the Habanero, which ranges between 100,000 and 300,000 and the Ghost chile which ranges between 850,000 and 1,050,000.
Due to the high heat of the Red Scorpion chile much caution must be taken when working with them. Protective gloves should be worn to keep the chile from touching the skin, though even with multiple pairs of gloves the oil from the flesh and seeds of the cut chiles can eventually seep through to the skin. When cooking with them do so in a ventilated area and avoid inhaling any chile fumes as it can burn the eyes and throat. Those that commercially produce the hot sauce wear protective clothing, gloves and chemical masks while cooking with the chile. The chiles are most commonly used in salsas, sauces and chili. Keep in mind only a very minimal amount of the chile is needed to make a massively hot impact.
The Red Scorpion chile is believed to have originated in Trinidad where it has been studied since the mid 1990’s at the University of the West Indies. The chile peppers thrive in warm to hot climates and are at their highest heat when the plant is stressed. The heat of a chile varies depending upon the chile type but as a rule of thumb within these types the hotter the environment the chile is grown in the hotter the chile can get. Some growers also claim that using run off from worm farms to fertilize the Red Scorpion pepper will help it reach a higher heat. Commercial production and marketing of the Red Scorpion chile has occurred mainly in the United States and Australia where it is used most commonly to make hot sauces.
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