Many people may know York County for having the lowest gas prices in America and one of the best BMX courses in the world, but their true claim to fame lies in their pepper breeding.
“Smokin” Ed Currie first bred the Carolina Reeper Pepper in his Rock Hill greenhouse in 2013. After hundreds of sub-par creations, he discovered the magical combination after crossing a Bhut jolokia (a former world record holder) and a red habanero. He named the new creation a ‘Reaper’ due to the shape of its tail.
The Guinness World Records officially recognized the Carolina Reaper as the hottest pepper in the world on August 7th, 2013, measuring in at 1,569,300 Scoville Heat Units (SHU), according to tests conducted by Winthrop University in South Carolina. The figure was an average for the tested batch; the hottest individual pepper was measured at 2.2 million SHU.
The Great Big Story interviewed “Smokin” Ed about his pepper and why it’s become a viral internet sensation;
Ed Currie now grows the world famous Carolina Reapers at his PuckerButt Pepper Company in Fort Mill.
There have been many attempts to create a hotter pepper, but after 4 years, the Carolina Reaper is still offically the Guiness World Record’s hottest pepper.
If you’re brave enough to try one, you can buy dried Carolina Reapers here on Amazon.