I’ve just read (I’m shamed to say on the daily mails website) that retail giant Tesco is going to start stocking the “Dorset Naga”, what some consider to be the worlds hottest chillie (although I beleive the official record is held by the bhut jolokia from India). This is surely the clearest sign yet that chillies really are hitting the mainstream. It was not long ago that you were hard pressed to find any varieties of chili in big supermarkets chains. Recently many have started branching out from the generic “Low, Medium or Hot” types many sell and are regularly stocking different varieties such as Jalapeno, Scotch Bonnet, Habanero, or Birds Eye.
What is more interesting is that the article states that Brits spent over £9 million on chillies in 2007. This is clear proof that chillie pepper culture is now in the mainstream. For a country known for it’s bland cuisine by it’s European neighbours that is not bad.
It will be interesting to hear about the inevitable complaints from customers that buy a pack of nagas and casually toss them in their evening stew, thinking they are nothing special. Not many people will be aware that these babies are about 100 times hotter than your average Jalapeno pepper. When this happens no doubt the mail will follow up with a suitably scare mongering article about how these killer chillies are the biggest threat to Britain since Sangat!