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Chocolate Bhutlah Peppers – 5 Interesting Facts

For many centuries, various cultures have used hot peppers to add flavor and heat to food, and during this time, new varieties of peppers have been discovered and cultivated. To this day, many people worldwide enjoy spicing up their dishes with one or more of the many types of peppers available.

One of the newer types of pepper is the Chocolate Bhutlah pepper, which was recently named among the hottest in the world. Before using this pepper, you should know all about Chocolate Bhutlahs to ensure that its heat and flavor profile is in line with your taste and spice preference, especially since its name can be deceiving. Read on to learn all about the Chocolate Bhutlah pepper!

Close up photo of Dragon's breath and Naga peppers
Photo by Charlotte Lake

What is a Chocolate Bhutlah Pepper?

The Chocolate Bhutlah pepper is a recently cultivated type of pepper that is incredibly spicy. It is part of the Capsicum chinense family, whose members are among the hottest peppers in the world.

The Chocolate Bhutlah pepper was created by expert pepper grower Chad Soleski in the early part of the twenty-first century. Initially, the pepper was known as simply “Bhutlah” because it appeared red. Soleski shared seeds with a fellow pepper grower named Steve McLaurin, who first observed the brownish pods. Soleski later also observed the darker-colored pods. As a result of the two growers observing the same color patterns, Chocolate Bhutlahs are designated as Chocolate Bhutlah CS and Chocolate Bhutlah SL, as a nod to each grower. However, this designation is not commonly seen and the peppers are formally known only as Chocolate Bhutlahs.

Like all members of the Capsicum chinense pepper varieties, the Chocolate Bhutlah originated in the Americas. The Chocolate Bhutlah was first bred in Wisconsin as a hybrid of the Bhut Jolokia, also known as the Ghost pepper, and the 7 Pot Douglah, known simply as the Douglah.

The Chocolate Bhutlah pepper gets its name from its two parents, with the “Bhut-” from bhut jolokia, and the “-lah” from the Douglah. The chocolate designation is a nod to the pepper’s signature red-brown color, a feature carried over from its Douglah pepper parent.

The Chocolate Bhutlah pepper’s lineage is no stranger to spice. Ghost peppers are rated at approximately 1,041,427 Scoville Heat Units (SHUs), while the Douglah ranks between 923,889 – 1,853,986 SHUs. Both varieties of peppers are among the hottest in the world.

Despite its delicious-sounding name and creamy brown color, this pepper couldn’t be further in taste from a sweet, mild piece of chocolate and should be used with caution!

How Hot is a Chocolate Bhutlah Pepper?

Chocolate Bhutlah peppers are among the hottest in the world. Its burn has earned it a ranking of 2,000,000 Scoville Heat Units (SHUs) and a second-place ranking on the list of the hottest peppers in the world.

Because of this incredible heat, Cholate Bhutlahs should be handled with extreme care to avoid overwhelming discomfort in the mouth and irritation or harm to the skin. You should cover your hands with disposable plastic or rubber gloves or baggies to prevent the capsaicin oils from getting on your hands. If your skin does come into contact with a Chocolate Bhutlah pepper, you should immediately wash it thoroughly with warm water and soap or dishwashing liquid. You should avoid touching your eyes or skin after handling Chocolate Bhutlahs.

Utensils and other surfaces that come into contact with Chocolate Bhutlahs should also be immediately washed with dishwashing detergent and water or placed in the dishwasher to avoid the spicy oils unintentionally transferring to other food, surfaces, or skin.

Is a Chocolate Bhutlah Pepper Hotter than a Carolina Reaper?

According to the official 2022 ranking of the hottest peppers in the world, no, a Chocolate Bhutlah Pepper is not hotter than a Carolina Reaper pepper. The Carolina Reaper is ranked at 2.2 million SHUs. However, the Chocolate Bhutlah pepper is hot on the tail of the Carolina Reaper with 2 million SHUs, trailing a mere 200,000 SHUs behind its spicier competitor!

What does a Chocolate Bhutlah Pepper Taste Like?

Before venturing down the path of tasting a Chocolate Bhutlah pepper, you should understand exactly what you’re getting into. We’ve already discussed the incredible heat that this pepper possesses and how far away it is from actual chocolate. Still, you may find that the pepper also has initial fruity, floral, and earthy notes.

All the heat of the Chocolate Bhutlah is contained in the capsaicin, which is a chemical component found in peppers. Capsaicin makes peppers spicy and is located in both the internal veins of the pepper and the seeds. When tasting a Chocolate Bhutlah, you may have one moment to enjoy the pepper’s other taste notes. Once the capsaicin is released, you will immediately experience fire and numbness!

Regardless of the other tastes present in a Chocolate Bhutlah, this pepper should not be used for its flavor other than spice!

What Can You Do with Chocolate Bhutlah Peppers?

Cooking with Chocolate Bhutlah peppers presents a unique opportunity for the bold and the brave. Chocolate Bhutlahs can be used in the same ways as other hot peppers, but perhaps with more caution than their less-spicy relatives.

Despite its heat, the Chocolate Bhutlah is a versatile pepper with many uses. When cooking with the pepper, always be sure that you add it slowly to gradually build heat. You should often taste as you prepare a product or dish. While the peppers are an excellent addition to many cuisines, a dash too much can make a meal fiery hot and hard to consume!

Here are a few examples of how you can experiment with and use a Chocolate Bhutlah pepper:

  • The pepper can give an exciting depth of flavor to dishes like chili and stew.
  • You may find that the spice of the pepper pairs well with your favorite salsa recipe.
  • Try your hand at drying the peppers and making homemade chili flakes to sprinkle on pasta or pizza!
  • Use Chocolate Bhutlahs in marinades for beef or chicken and finish the dish by cooking the meat on a grill for a fresh and exciting main course.
  • Have you ever created your own hot sauce? Regardless of your experience, Chocolate Bhutlahs can be made into a mean hot sauce through an at-home fermenting process!

Once you understand the unique properties of the Chocolate Bhutlah, the options for using Chocolate Bhutlah peppers are limitless. Their heat makes them a perfect choice for anyone looking to experiment with a less common pepper and add a little fire to their lives!