How dangerous is eating a Habanero Pepper straight?

I’ve done it, basically on a dare (a friend of mine and I go way back with hot foods). I’ve grown up around spicy foods all my life and have a higher tolerance than most people I’ve eaten with, to the point that if I make a gumbo to be what I consider hot, it’s basically inedible to most people. I swig tabasco to win bar bets and use Blair’s 3AM Reserve like it’s going out of style.

When I ate the whole, raw habanero, I basically chomped it once (not fair if no maceration takes place) and swallowed. My mouth was immediately lit on fire, which bread and milk did nothing for. I started gagging a bit, but kept things down until the pepper hit my stomach (I figure; it was a few minutes later), at which point I immediately started heaving and brought up the pepper (luckily I hadn’t been eating anything else for a while). I continued heaving for about half an hour and my belly didn’t feel right for the rest of the day.

I’d be willing to bet those are (a) pickled or brined, (b) not the whole pepper, but only the outside. The whole pepper includes the seeds and stem, which make the whole thing worse.

Oddly enough, I was channel-surfing last night and came across a VH1 “inside look” into Fear Factor (a show I never watch, and was reminded why several times - my stomach is still churning!). One stunt they showed had a penalty of eating a habanero, and someone who worked on the show commented that they were told that this was one of the most risky eating stunts they’ve ever done. Yes, eating a pepper is physically risky compared to cow innards and such.

Heck, I thought you were thinking of this when I saw this thread. :slight_smile:

Sounds like you should have read Cecil’s column: Why water won’t help after eating spicy hot food

Forgot the :slight_smile:


I once took a bite of an habañero; everything that can be said about the experience has pretty much already been said, so I won’t repeat it.

Every single time I’ve cooked with habañeros, I’ve forgotten to wear gloves, and after I remeber that I should have done so, I forget that I shouldn’t touch my eyes. I’ve also found that no amount of scrubbing will remove the residue of habañero from my hands; eight hours later I can still touch my eye and induce agony. The stuff just has to wear off.

I use habs all the time in my cooking. You get used to them after a while - it’s slightly masochistic, but the endorphins that get released make it a good pain - I pour some home-made habenero hot sauce (diced habs, garlic, some spices, tomato sauce and a little vinegar) on my pork barbeque sandwiches, and even though I’m sniffling and I’m sweating out of every pore from my nose on up, I enjoy every minute of it. And yes the next day can be a little dicey, especially if the evacuation is…umm…well…mushy.

However, you don’t know true soul-searing, gut-wrenching, “Lord, please kill me now” pain until you’ve been handling lots of habeneros, then absent-mindedly scratch your balls…

:eek: :eek: :eek:

To this day, especially when I do something spectacularly stupid (which seems to be happening with alarming frequency lately :slight_smile: ), my wife calls me "critter the Red-Scrot Reindeer.


OMG QtM, viscous lidocane is a gift from God (especially if you suffer from debilitating sore throat infections)!

Do Scoville units really measure the amount of capsaicin? My understanding is that the units measure relative perception of hotness by trial-and-error – in other words making some poor saps eat the hot stuff and then seeing how many squirts of sugar water it takes to calm them down.

That’s how it was originally measured, but that’s been replaced with scientific methods.

Dad grew some habaneros in his garden one year. They were so hot that one of them could make a whole pot of food indedible and I even like hot stuff. Interestingly, all the other peppers in the garden were also hot, perhaps through the magic of cross-pollination? The Hungarian wax peppers were actually hot, as opposed to their usual mere nippiness and even the bell peppers had bite.

Well, I ate one and have lived long enough to swear never to do so again.

My dad got some from a friend who grew them in his garden, and offered me one at dinner…I wrapped it in bacon (mmm…bacon…) which did nothing to ease the pain. Two bites later, mouth ablaze, sweating like I’d run a mile and fluid leaking from both eyes ans nostrils. Ouchie.

I had a tough go of it when I took a mere bite.

Profuse sweating, hiccups, runny nose, the feeling that my tongue was being chemically disintegrated.
Wouldn`t recommend it.

I don’t think you mean “scientific” there. If the original Scoville tests were done properly, then they could also be categorised as scientific, right? Maybe you mean “more precise methods” or “chemical analysis methods” or something.

Anyway, I’d be interested in seeing the differences between the old and new Scoville scales? Are there any such comparisons?

I consumed, and kept down, a Habanero Hamburger. I voluntarily made it more difficult by not drinking while eating it. I involuntarily made it more difficult by sitting across the table from someone else who finished his, and then proceeded to throw up on the table.

I no longer feel any need to prove my manliness by eating spicy food.

(But I don’t actually know how the Habanero sauce on the burger would compare to real Habaneros…)

This might help.

Hungarian wax peppers can be QUITE spicy, but there’s a few varieties of peppers here in the States I’ve seen sold as Hungarian wax peppers. As far as I know, they should refer to a varietal that’s known as bogyiszloi paprika in Hungarian which is a pale yellow pepper, somewhat resembling a banana pepper, but paler in color and a bit fatter. Their spiciness level can vary widely within even the same batch. I’d buy a dozen from the market, and one would be hardly spicier than a bell pepper, and another would be hotter than a jalapeno.

My favorite local eatery has a nice habanero sauce (basically just a smashed up habanero pepper witha few drop of olive oil) they will bring out if you ask, but you’ve got to very careful with how you apply it. It is liquid fire, and a few times, after a beer or two, I have got a bit too brave with this stuff with predicatble results.

It’s interesting to note that not one female has posted confessing to this foolishness.

How hot ARE jalapenos, anyways? I once ate a pierogie not realizing it had a jalapeno in it. It wasn’t hot at all-just this disgusting, bitter/sour aftertaste. It was incredibly nasty tasting, but not at all painful.

Female weighing in. My experience was picking up some peppers to make quesadillas. I think they were mislabeled at the supermarket. As I was cutting them up, somehow I could just tell they were really hot. So I cut them as small as possible. Maybe 1/2 the size of a grain of rice? Then I sprinkled them sparingly on the quesadillas.

They still rendered the quesadillas basically inedible. Mr. Spry and I are both fans of hot foods, but these (especially raw) crossed a line.