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News19 Employee Tries the Carolina Reaper, World's Hottest Pepper

7:46 PM, Jan 30, 2014   |    comments
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Columbia, SC (WLTX) - So just how hot it the hottest pepper in the world?

One of our employees now knows.

News19 Executive Producer Scott Cooke sampled the Carolina Reaper on Friends at 5 Thursday afternoon. The pepper was verified by the Guinness Book of World Records last year as the hottest anywhere.

The pepper is cultivated by Ed Currie of PuckerButt Pepper Company in Rock Hill, SC. He's been growing the pepper for about eight years.

"I cross-pollinated a really rare habanero and a Naga [Viper Pepper] from Pakistan," Currie explained. "I crossed them about 11, 12 years ago now. We got a good generation after three years."

The pepper is 300 times as powerful as a jalapeño, and three times hotter than the notoriously hot Ghost Pepper.

Cooke said he's tried the Ghost Pepper, and indeed, this one's stronger.

"It feels like fire, I don't know how else to say that," he said  moments after biting into it.

An hour later, Cooke said the heat was gone, but the cramps were kicking in and his hand was shaking and his pupils were dilated.

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