Friday, February 23, 2007

Indian Chilli Enters Guinness Book of World Records

You must have found the title some what amusing and wondered what I was really up to - writing on steel. roses and now chillies. As I am committed to portray India's inner strength despite thousands of blogs still engaged in showing only its poverty, beggars, monkeys, snake-charmers et al, this post had its compelling reasons.
Coming to chillies, I have been reading reports about them in Times of India for the last two days with the last title 'How India won the chilli war'. International honours are hard to come by and when it was to be decided which chilli is the hottest, there were 3 serious contenders. The result (do not mistake in assuming that it was based on tasting them as that would lead to, who knows, terrible consequences) was given after elaborate tests were carried out by New Mexico State University's Chilli and Pepper Institute. The Indian entry known as Naga Jolokia was crowned with the honour scoring 1,001,304 Scoville Heat Units (SHUs) and USA's Red Savina scored 577,000 SHUs. The other entrant Dorset Naga which was developed for years scored 923,000 SHUs. Just to get an idea of hotness of chillies, any chilli having only 300,000 SHUs will bring tears. It is perhaps for the obvious reason, Naga Jolokia has a local name 'Bhoot' (ghost) as one would surely start seeing ghost when it is put in the mouth even accidentally. Records are made only to be broken.
Guinness Book of World Records have many examples of old entries giving way to new entries. In this age of globalisation, one cannot shy away from competition. Till some other chilli is found to be hotter than Naga Jolokia in some other part of the globe, let us savour its global honour (definitely not its taste though!).
To sum up, India is surely very very hot.

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