Native to the village of Moruga on the Caribbean island of Trinidad and Tobago, the Moruga Scorpion is a member of the exclusive “superhot” chili club.
In 2012, it was identified by the New Mexico State University’s Chili Pepper Institute as being the hottest people in the world, and a proud Guinness Book of Record followed.
Revered and feared by chili aficionados the world over, this potent pepper’s sting grows and grows to the point where even the most hardened chili lovers will take one bite and run for cover.
In this article, we will showcase this iconic Caribbean chili in all of its tear-inducing glory so that you can make up your own mind whether you want to try, cook, or grow it yourself.
Trininid Moruga Scorpion Pepper Scoville Heat Units
The way in which the Moruga Scorpion got its title as the world’s hottest chili pepper was through the Scoville Heat Unit (SHU) scale.
Created by an American pharmacist by the name of Wilbur Scoville in 1912, the Scoville scale is the most widely used and accepted means of measuring the heat of the chili pepper in the world.
By calculating the capsaicinoids in each chili pepper, the Scoville scale can determine their heat in a very accurate way.
This accuracy is super useful for growers, purveyors, and eaters of peppers, as it helps them to understand exactly how potent each pepper is.
The scale runs from the very innocent gypsy pepper at 0 SHU all the way up to the eye-watering and gut-wrenching Pepper X at 3.18 million SHU. Pepper X is the unofficial hottest pepper in the world at present and is currently in the process of being made official.
You’re now probably wondering where does the Moruga Scorpion fit into this scale? and let us tell you, it’s way up there. In the same 2012 study that revealed it was the hottest pepper in the world at that time, Trinidad’s nastiest Scorpion came in at a staggering 1.2 million on the Scoville scale.
This was the mean average of all the Moruga Scorpions tested that day, but the strongest recording was quite a lot higher at 2 million SHU.
When you consider that a standard jalapeno pepper is 5,000 on the same scale, the average Moruga Scorpion is a staggering 240 times hotter than a jalapeno, and we’ll just leave it at that.
What Does A Trinidad Moruga Scorpion Pepper Taste Like?
The one thing that Scorpions have going for them to counterbalance the insane amount of heat that they bring is their sweetness. This sweet and spicy combo makes them perfect for cooking, as long as the appropriate quantity is carefully measured out and not overstated.
They are also known for having a very tender and fruity flavor which adds to their sweetness and is one of the big reasons why they are one of the most popular “superhot” chilis in the world.
Cooking Trinidad Moruga Scorpion Pepper
Trinidad’s Scorpion is sort-after by hot sauce producers the world over for its super-fiery element and sweet undertones. This means it’s pretty easy to find a scorpion hot sauce in most local supermarkets across America, or online.
If you’re looking to cook with them at home, you can either buy them dried or fresh. Although generally, it is easier to find them dried in the shops.
With dried Scorpion peppers, you can make your own chili sauce or chili powder to use as a meat rub, or to add to all kinds of soups and stews when looking for a real kick to set your week of straight.
Fresh Scorpion peppers blend particularly well into salsa recipes and mix through ground beef to make spicy beef patties.
Asian cuisine like Thai curries and noodle dishes aren’t adverse to some Scorpion fire to get them singing and zinging. Of course, it goes without saying, that they are a match made in heaven for anything Mexican, with enchiladas and fajitas suiting the Caribbean Scorpion especially well.
Again, their versatility really comes down to the sweetness that emanates from these powerful and captivating superhot peppers.
Just make sure to treat them with the utmost respect by always remembering to wash your hands straight after toughing them, because an innocent rub of the eye has the potential to send you straight to the emergency room.
Growing Trinidad Moruga Scorpion Peppers
Trinidad Moruga Scorpion peppers can be successfully grown all over America. Depending on where you live, they can suit an indoor or outdoor grow better.
If you live in a northern state where frost in spring, fall, and winter is likely, then you most definitely want to grow indoors, as scorpions especially despise frost.
Moruga chili plants, if given the right growing conditions, can prosper and produce a good number of chili fruits. They are perennial plants which means they can be grown at any time of the year, but they really flourish in the spring to fall growing season.
They require at least six hours of direct sunlight each day but will be thankful if you manage to give them 12. This addiction to the sunlight is a direct response from their Caribbean roots where the tropical sun is hot all year long.
As evidenced in this article, the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion Pepper is a popular chili that is known for having two sides – a sweet and an insanely hot one. It is both respected and loved by foodies far and wide, with many of us intrigued to see whether we can handle the seductive scorpion heat.
So whether you’re looking to buy some fresh Moruga Socprions to try out a new recipe or maybe grow your own at home and reap the rewards forevermore, we hope you found the fire that you were looking for.