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23 October 2013

Scoville Heat Units: 200,000 – 580,000 SHU

This pepper is a cultivar of the habanero. It once held the Guinness Record for the hottest chili pepper, but was beaten by the Bhut Jolokia, which was also later trounced in heat. The red savina is a bright red and robust fruit, with up to 50 fruits appearing per pepper plant.

It was the first habanero pepper to receive USDA plant-protection certification, and it has even been one of the major ingredients involved in creating police-grade pepper sprays – though for culinary use it often turns up in somewhat-safer chili powder and hot sauces.

The red savina was created by Frank Garcia of GNS Spices in Walnut, California. He discovered it in a patch of Caribbean Red Habanero peppers when he noticed a particular plant had thicker, hotter pods. He selectively bred the red savina over a few years, resulting in the peppers we see today.