Saturday, February 19, 2011

World's hottest chilli grown in Grantham

Its previous claim to fame was as the birthplace of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. But now the market town of Grantham in Lincolnshire has produced an even fierier export after a local producer grew the world’s hottest chilli. Measuring 1.17 million on the Scoville Scale - an official measure of spicy heat - the Infinity chilli is so hot that it carries a health warning.

Grown by Nick Woods, 39, the chilli - which was grown in a greenhouse - made it to the Guinness Book of Records after out-spicing the previous title holder, the Bhut Jolokia, from India. Mr Woods, who runs his own business Fire Foods from his home in Grantham, said he grew the record breaking chilli by accident.

He explained: "I didn't set out to grow it, it's really easy for chillies to crossbreed in a greenhouse, one day I just saw this new chilli plant growing. When I tried it tasted nice at first, like an odd fruity taste, the effect is delayed. Then it hit me. All of a sudden I felt it burning in the back of my throat, so hot that I couldn't speak.

“I began to shake uncontrollably, I had to sit down, I felt physically sick. I really wouldn't recommend anybody eat it raw like that.” Former RAF worker Mr Woods started his chilli business five years ago after being given a plant by a friend.

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