If you love spicy food, you’ll know the heat that builds in your mouth as the capsaicin molecules bond with your taste buds’ receptors, sending signals to your brain that basically say, Do this again and I’m suing you. But do you dare? In honor of National Chili Month, here are 8 of the spiciest foods in the world.
1) No. 1 – Habanero Peppers
Habanero peppers are one of the most popular types of chili peppers. They are also among one of the hottest peppers in the world. The heat they provide is a result from their high capsaicin content, which can be up to 350,000 on the Scoville scale. This means that habanero peppers are 35 times hotter than jalapeno peppers and about 100 times spicier than a typical red pepper.
2) 2) Piri Piri (Portuguese for pepper pepper)
Piri Piri is a style of cooking that originates from Portugal. It typically involves a sauce made from ground piri piri peppers, which are indigenous to Angola and Mozambique. The dish is most often prepared with chicken, but it can also be cooked with other meats or vegetables. As for its spice level, Piri Piri rates about as hot as Tabasco sauce on the Scoville scale-which means it’s pretty freaking hot!
3) 3) Lumphini Park Mango Sticky Rice
A Thai dessert dish consisting of sweet, sticky rice that has been soaked with coconut milk and served with a scoop of mango ice cream on top. This dish is not as hot as other dishes on this list but it is one of the most delicious.
In Thailand, it is commonly believed that anything cooked with coconut milk will have a satisfying richness to it, which makes this dish so delicious. The combination of sweet and spicy flavors make for an exquisite dessert that melts in your mouth. Despite being less spicy than others on this list, many people consider this dish to be one of their favorites. Mango sticky rice can be found at almost every Thai restaurant around the world and some places even offer it as a special for dessert.
4) 4) Laotian Catfish Soup
Laotian cuisine is a Southeast Asian cuisine that mixes Thai, Vietnamese, Chinese, Indian, and French influences. One of the most well-known dishes from Laos is their spicy fish soup. The Laotian catfish soup is a broth that has been simmered for hours with herbs and spices such as lemongrass and galangal (a ginger-like root). Once it’s ready to serve, it’s poured over pieces of fish that have been cooked with chilies on top. It usually comes with a side of rice noodles to balance out the spiciness.
5) 5) Bhut Jolokia or Ghost Pepper
It’s one of the hottest peppers in existence and it’s also one of the most expensive. It’s native to India, but is now grown around the world. The Bhut Jolokia is a cultivar of Capsicum chinense and is often listed as the world’s hottest pepper or the world’s hottest chili pepper. The heat can range from 200,000 to 400,000 Scoville units on average.
6) 6) Sambal Stingray
If you’re looking for a dish that’ll make your mouth tingle, this is it. Sambal Stingray from Indonesia is made with fried stingray served with a spicy sambal sauce, which is typically made with red chili peppers and shallots. These two ingredients are what give this dish its deep flavor and fiery heat. The dish is so popular that it’s often served at wedding receptions and other special events in Indonesia.
7) 7) Lai Wong Bao at Chope Chor Meng Restaurant, Singapore
Lai Wong Bao is a dish that is served at Singapore’s Chope Chor Meng Restaurant. It consists of two steamed buns with filling, which are then deep-fried and sprinkled with dried shrimp, garlic, and chives. The dish originates from Fujian province and can be traced back to the late 1800s or early 1900s.
Lai Wong Bao may not sound like much to some people, but it has been voted as one of Singapore’s spiciest dishes on multiple occasions—winning as high as third place on a list of 20 dishes in 2013. This spicy dish has also been ranked as one of the eight spiciest foods in the world by Foodbeast.
8) 8) Tiger Balm Tea Latte at Starbucks Singapore
When Starbucks Singapore introduced a Tiger Balm Tea Latte, it was met with some trepidation. What is tis tea latte made of, one might ask? Why does it look so dark and sad? Well, this is not your typical chamomile tea latte. No, this is something far more intense and flavorful. Consisting of black tea steeped with star anise and cinnamon oil, as well as tiger balm—you know that stuff you rub on your sore muscles when you’re super sore from a workout—this drink packs quite a punch. It’s also worth noting that unlike regular lattes that come in one size (medium), this drink comes in three sizes: small, medium and large.