The Chilli Factory - Setting the World on Fire!
Frequently Asked Questions
Is eating chilli healty?
Chillies and Health Mercury Tasmania - October 2010
Read this and more articles at our Write up Gallery click here.
Eating chilli and your health
Herewith we would like to summarize a few health facts. Recent years there has been a lot of research and every year research finds out more about the healthy benefits of the chilli.
Chilli will clear your sinuses. After eating chillies your nose starts to run. Therefore great to fight off the flu or even hay fever?
This is what one of our customers found out after eating our hot habanero paste Turbo Supercharge. He has had hay fever all his life. Up until he reached the hottest chilli in the world (Habanero) and after eating that for a while his hay fever has gone.
Make sure that you start straight when feeling the first symptoms of the flu coming...
Have your meals with: minimum of 4 cloves of fresh garlic, a nice chunk of ginger and a hot chilli! Do not cook the garlic, ginger and chilli but put it fresh on top of your cooked dish, say a nice Singapore Noodles. You start sweating and it clears the sinuses. Repeat until fully recovered.
There has been a lot of research done about all the health benefits of the chilli and so far more than 50 common ailments are said to be cured by eating chilli. In the old days it was believed and used to fight of scurvy. Also used to prevent or cure: rheumatism, arteriosclerosis, toothache, stomach-ache, epilepsy, asthma, varicose veins and malaria.
They are tonic and antiseptic. Stimulate your digestive system and if rubbed on areas of your skin it will stimulate the blood flow and for these reasons have been used also to treat sprains, rheumatic pain in the muscles of the lower back (lumbago) or chilblains (sore or swollen skin) Be careful when using because it may cause blistering or dermatitis when used over a longer period of time!
Chillies do speed up your metabolism and have more vitamin C in them than any other fruit. (Yes chilli is a fruit) Also be noted that the hotter the chilli the more vitamin C they contain. Apparently the red variety of the habanero chilli from Mexico contains more than 350x the amount of vitamin C than the average orange!
You can use chillies to repel your garden pest or to keep barnacles off boats. The oils in the chilli (oleoresins which are the concentrated extract or oils found in chillies) are used into the base of this special paint for boats. These chilli oils keep the barnacles at bay.
How can you measure/rate the heat of chillies?
There are a few different ways of measuring the heat of a chilli.
The first documented way to measure the heat of a chilli is invented and created by: Wilbur L. Scoville in 1912. He used a panel of people who would taste test the chillies. The sample would be watered down up until the panel could no longer detect any heat. The units of water added to the sample would then be rated on the Scoville scale (For instance the Habanero is rated app. 200.000 up to 550.000 Scoville units!)
Later in the 20th century around 1980 James Woodbury used a different technique to measure the heat of the chillies. He developed a technique to determine the level of capsaicin (the working ingredient in the chilli causing the pain) by high-pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC). A special measuring tool called a spectrofluorometer which can measure the capsaicin levels in parts per million. This is then translated back to the Scoville scale.
Some general links and information for your interest:
At this link…you can see that our Trinidad Scorpion is from the Capsicum chinense cultivar
- Capsicum chinense, which includes the hottest peppers such as the naga, habanero, Datil and Scotch bonnet
This link gives a very good explanation about Wilbur Scoville the inventor of the heat scale to rate chillies
It also has an overview of hottest chilli. As you can see our Trinidad Scorpion Butch T is not on there yet…
So a NEW top ten would be:
1) Trinidad Scorpion Butch Taylor Chilli 1,463,700!!
2) Naga Viper pepper 1,382,118
3) Infinity Chilli 1,067,286
4) Naga Jolokia pepper 1,041,427
(or Ghost or Bih or Bhut all the same family)
5) Dorset Naga 1,032,310
6) Red Savina Habaneros 577.000
7) Habaneros 350,000
8) Scotch Bonnets 350,000
9) Madame Jeanette 350,000
10) Datil Pepper 300,000
Piri Piri (African Birds Eye Chilli) 300,000
Birds eye Chilli 100,000
Tabasco pepper 50,000
Jalapeno 10,000 (these are the green ones you get at say Subway!! Yum)
There are at least 530 - to more than - 1,500 different kind of chillies!!
So still lots to learn about this beautifull fruit!!
I further more cross-referenced the various chillies from above heat list on various websites to get a bit of a genuine list …:
About our tests:
Report from the lab with the results…
Even our BHUT which we grow here on our property, which is the Jolokia or Ghost chilli and previous world record holder, is hotter than the “original” world record of the same chilli (we scored: 1,110,900 SHU).
We found that the better you treat your chillies the hotter they get!!
As a sample see report from lab… it says Bhut Hothouse ….The Bhuts from the hothouse had it too hot when heatwave came across the Hunter and you can see that they get a less hot rating straight away… too much suffering and they do not like that at all…Very sensitive and need lots of attention and worm juice offcourse!
Mark Peacock knows much more about this … it is his kind of field but also on-line some various sources state actually the same as we found while growing our chillies for the past 3 years:
The effect of climate on the Scoville rating of Bhut Jolokia peppers is dramatic. A 2005 study comparing percentage availability of capsaicin and dihydrocapsaicin in Bhut Jolokia peppers grown in Tezpur (Assam) and Gwalior (Madhya Pradesh), India showed that the heat of the pepper is decreased by over 50% in Gwalior's more arid climate. Elsewhere in India, scientists at Manipur University measured Bhut Jolokia's average Scoville rating by HPLC at only 329,100 SHU.
How to stop this burning pain!
There are a few first aid tips, which you can use to put out that fireâ€¦
Yoghurt, milk, sour cream, ice cream or cheese
Avocado does a good job too. Also any product with peanuts. Sugar, banana, cucumber or dry bread.
Basically any dairy product will take away the pain. The best one so far is yoghurt. Not because it takes the heat away the easiest but because it is not runny and you can keep it into your mouth to cool down. Also ice-cream offcourse this is furthermore a good excuse to eat a whole tub of the stuff.
Do not ever drink or try the following to cool down
Run around berserk with your mouth open, this is definitely not a cool idea to take away the pain. Furthermore it might look a wee bit silly for some.
Drinking of the following liquids makes the burning worse: water, beer or any other fizzy drink. Although tempting to let your partner know that you really need that beer to cool down it does not work, find another excuse to drink.
The reason for this is that these liquids will open up your taste butts and worsen the sensation of the capsaicin, the working ingredient in the chilli.
What is the hottest part of a chilli?
The hottest part of the chilli is the flesh (called the placenta) around the seeds and the seeds itself. Although the flesh is the hottest part with the highest concentration of capsaicin.
Common reaction after eating chillies
Sweating (like a ....)
Light on your legs, wobbly. (Like using drugs, or so some customers told us)
Hard to breath
Scratching the back of your head
If you eat too much you might experiencing the following: Collapsed throat or hard to breath. Some would like to make love to their partner due to the euphoric sensation of the endorphins kicking in.
Why is chilli so addictive?
At the moment you eat chillies your body wants to cool you down and take away the pain caused by the capsaicin in the chilli. Your brain starts to produce endorphins, which is a natural painkiller. And as soon as they kick in you will feel and experience a nice endorphin rush and euphoria. The natural high, this is the main reason you always want more chilli! You will experience the same sensation with sports e.g. jogging. But to my opinion eating chillies is easier and it saves you the hassle of running down the street.
How can I spice up my chillies?
Cook them and eat them hot. A cooked up chilli will releases the oils and therefore expand its heat. Thus making the sensation hotter.
Add salt to your batch of chillies this will draw the oils out of the chilli and therefore make your chilli hotter. Also you can use white vinegar, grounded pepper, ginger or garlic to boost the heat in the chilli. Or worse, make a deadly cocktail with the lot. If this is still not hot enough try to use these artificial boosters: concentrated oils or get (battery?) acid! We do not recommend this; we prefer the natural taste and heat of our chillies. So do not try this at home please.
How do you spell chilli, chili, chile & Chile?
There are a few different ways of spelling the word chilli. It all depends on where you live.
In USA it is referred to as chile or pepper. Chile is originally Spanish spelling. In Australia we spell it as chilli. In UK/Europe it is again spelled differend and looses an l and spelled as chili. (as a reference to Chili con Carne?)
Christopher Columbus misnamed the chilli to pepper because he thought it was from the same genus/family as black pepper and therefore the confusion: pepper, chilli, chili (con carne) chile & Chile (Country in South America), paprika, capsicum (the Australian word for paprika and pronounced as kap-si-kum) capsaicin (working ingredient in chilli which causes the heat/pain and pronounced as Kap-say-kin.).
So therefore there is no rights or wrong spelling of the word chilli just region dependent. As we say in Australia: No worries mate, she'll be right!
How can I preserve my chillies?
We get a lot of questions from our customers who grow their own chillies of how to preserve the harvest? There are a few ways of preserving your chillies.
- You can put the chillies in an airtight container or plastic bag in the fridge, this way they will last for a few weeks.
- Freeze your chillies, as suggested above, and they will last a few months.
- Put the chillies in vinegar, which is a natural preservative. Keep product out of the sun and put it in your pantry, this way it will last you for a couple of years.
- Or put your chillies in oil same as the vinegar.
- Hang them to dry. Also very nice as a decoration or create your own chilli earring.
- Chillies with a thick skin are hard to dry (they get mould in them before they are dried) therefore these are smoked to preserve them. This is mainly done with the jalapeno chilli. (A smoked jalapeno chilli is called a chipotle chilli)
- Make sauces or chutneys, but leave that up to the experts please..
- The higher the capsaicin level in a chilli the better it preserves. Capsaicin is a natural preservative and therefore the hotter the chilli the better it keeps.
What is the shelf life of your products?
The shelf life of our product is 2 years. However DO NOT put products in direct sunlight (dark pantry or cabinet!) Please refrigerate the product after opening.
After opening the tomato-based chilli sauces and chutney's will keep for a minimum of 2 months in the refrigerator. These are the tomato-based sauces/chutney's: Fiery Frillneck hiss, Outback storm and Kangaroo punch.
All other products will keep for at least 3 months++ in the refrigerator. The extremely hot Turbo Supercharge, Bushfire burn and Dragon's blood even 12 months. (Just make sure to use a clean spoon to get the paste out of the jar!)
A few general warnings
- Whenever you are preparing fresh chillies make sure that you wash your hands before you go to the toilet and also afterwards offcourse!
- We strongly recommend gloves while preparing fresh habanero chillies (or picking and harvesting them). We also recommend wearing a safety helmet and goggles as well!!
- Be careful for the fumes coming out of the pots when using fresh chillies in any stir-fry or other cooking.
Memory Lane of the Chilli
A brief history of the chilli over the past few thousand years ..
The chilli originates from South America where it has been used, grown and loved for the past few thousand of years. Mostly grown in the wild and later slowly cultivated.
The only reason that we, the rest of the world, also know them is that Columbus tried to reach India and its herbs and spices via a different route.
A few (500) years ago Portugal was having a monopoly in pepper trade, which was at that time the most precious spice in the world! To break that monopoly and also because the King of Spain got fed up with the Portuguese he sent Columbus to look and find a western route to the spices of India.
He discovered (South) America and brought some chillies home. And because he thought he had found a different route to India he called these chillies peppers believing them to be related to the plant, which produces black pepper.
.. and with that he started the confusion about the naming of the chilli. Also see How do you spell chilli, chili, chile & Chile?
After introducing the chilli in Spain the spreading of the chilli over the rest of the world (Eastern Europe, Africa and ofcourse Asia) went very fast because everybody loved the flavour of the mild to wild tasting pepper. Today the chilli has become an essential part of cooking all over the world. And therefore Chillies are the most popular spice in the world, from mild to wild!
Chilli and what does it mean?
A short list of some of the main/important chilli terms used and abused.
Tomato based sauce mainly used with a chipotle chilli
South American term for chilli
Family name for chilli. A kind of class having common characteristics. In Australia used as other word for paprika pepper which is the same family as the chilli.
Anything consisting of the capsicum plant or the fruit from the plant. Capsicum is the name for the capsicum plant
Smoking any chilli to preserve it. This is then called chipotle chilli. Most of the times the chilli used for this are the Jalapeno chilli because of its thick skin. (Normal drying will make it rot...that's why smoking is a better way) Best way to smoke is with hickory wood to give that distinctive flavour to your chilli.
The working ingredient that gives the chilli its heat. Be careful how to pronounce otherwise it will sound like capsicum. Kap-say-kin.
Any non-pungent (non heat) chilli. E.g. capsicum (Australia) / Paprika pepper (rest of the World).
Piripiri, piri-piri (molho de piri-piri)
Piripiri is Swahilli for Chilli (meaning pepper, pepper). Originally brought back to Europe by Columbus it was introduced into the Portugees colonies of Angola and Mozambique. There it was cultivated and grown extensively and named by the locals Piripiri. From there it made its way back to Portugeese cuisine but kept its newly received name.
This is the heat in a chilli
This is a long string of (dried) whole chillies and is manly used for storage or to decorate your home with. A good way of preserving the chillies with the thinner skin types.
Need Help?Phone: +61 (0)2 4973 3751 or