The Man Who Created the Carolina Reaper Has Invented a New World's Hottest Pepper

iStock
iStock

Smokin’ Ed Currie of the PuckerButt Pepper Company attained hot-pepper preeminence in 2013, when he debuted the Carolina Reaper, the hottest hot pepper at the time at up to 2.2 million Scoville Heat Units (SHU). His world record-breaking achievement was surpassed earlier in 2017 by the Dragon’s Breath, a chili accidentally bred by a competitive gardener. Now, Smokin’ Ed is back with what he says beats the taste bud-searing heat of both peppers.

According to Thrillist, so-called “Pepper X” took 10 years to develop. It reportedly clocks in at 3.18 million SHU. For comparison, the Dragon’s Breath chili lands at 2.48 million SHU and a jalapeño at just 5000 SHU. The new pepper isn't officially the world's hottest yet—Smokin’ Ed is still waiting for verification from the Guinness World Records committee. He expects to hear back about his submission’s status sometime in November.

Peppers this spicy aren’t always made available to consumers. Dragon’s Breath, the current world record holder, will be restricted to use in medicine. Unlike that example, Pepper X is already available in hot sauce form. The volatile condiment has been dubbed The Last Dab, and it’s being produced as a collaboration between Smokin’ Ed, The Heatonist hot sauce shop in New York, and First We Feast’s video web series The Hot Ones.

The product will now be used as the final sauce that’s consumed by celebrity guests on the interview show, hence the name. While it’s not quite as scorching as the straight pepper, at 2.4 million SHU it’s still hotter than a Carolina Reaper in its raw form. The Last Dab disappeared from shelves quickly, but you can do your body a favor and watch other people experience it instead. Check out the video below.

[h/t Thrillist]

McDonald’s Is Testing Out Vegan McNuggets in Norway

McDonald's has never been an especially welcoming place for vegans (until 1990, even the fries contained meat). But now, the chain's Norwegian locations are working to change that. As Today reports, McDonald's restaurants in Norway have launched a vegan nugget alternative to the classic chicken McNugget.

The new vegan McNuggets are prepared to look like the menu item customers are familiar with. They're coated with a layer of breadcrumbs and fried until they're golden-brown and crispy. Instead of chicken meat, the nugget is filled with plant-based ingredients, including mashed potatoes, chickpeas, onions, corn, and carrots.

The vegan McNuggets are only available to customers in Norway for now, but if they're popular, they may spread to McDonald's in other parts of the world. Norway's McDonald's locations also include a Vegetarian McFeast burger on its menu.

McDonald's is famous for tailoring its menus to international markets, and vegetarian options are much easier to find in restaurants some parts of the world compared to others. In India, where one fifth of the population is vegetarian, customers can order the McAloo Tikki Burger, made from potatoes and peas, or a McVeggie sandwich.

[h/t Today]

All-Marshmallow Boxes of Lucky Charms Are Back, But Not Everyone Will Be Able to Get One

Lucky Charms
Lucky Charms

Hot on the heels of a Virginia brewery's cereal-inspired marshmallow beer, another way for grown adults to feel like kids again has emerged. Marshmallow-only Lucky Charms are back—this time with unicorn and rainbow shapes. Unfortunately, only 15,000 boxes of the sweet stuff are up for grabs.

If you were already planning on treating yourself by picking up some regular Lucky Charms from your local supermarket, be on the lookout for promotional boxes that say “You could win a box of only marshmallows” on the front. The inside panels of those boxes contain codes that can be entered at MarshmallowOnly.com for your chance to win one of the rare pure-marshmallow boxes. The promotion will run through the summer, so you’ll have plenty of time to enter up to 30 codes. Here's a list of participating retailers carrying the coded boxes [PDF].

This isn’t the first time that General Mills, the maker of Lucky Charms, has held this sweepstakes. In 2015, the company gave away 10 boxes of marshmallow-only cereal (or, as it calls the sugary shapes, “marbits”). Based on the popularity of that promotion, it handed out 10,000 boxes in 2017.

"It's no secret that Lucky Charms fans love the marshmallows," Scott Baldwin, director of marketing for cereal at General Mills, said in a statement. "Consumers have flooded our inboxes and swept our social feeds begging for Lucky Charms Marshmallow Only to return. You asked, and we listened!"

If you’re not feeling especially lucky, you can buy similar versions of the marshmallows on Amazon. Retailers like Medley Hills Farm and Hoosier Hill Farm (which are apparently unrelated companies) sell one-pound bags of cereal marshmallows for $11 and $10, respectively. You can also order an 8-pound bag, or, if you’re feeling especially peckish, a 40-pound case of dehydrated marshmallows for $228. As one Amazon reviewer wrote, it's “just the right amount."

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