TODAY'S QUESTION: Will you try the Bhut jolokia salsa Thursday?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010 | 11:27 a.m. CDT; updated 11:42 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, September 7, 2010

COLUMBIA – The hottest pepper in the world, the Bhut jolokia, also known as the "ghost pepper," will be in Columbia on Thursday, as part of the sixth annual Tomato Festival at MU's Bradford Research Farm from 4 to 7:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Several salsas will be prepared with the pepper, which is about 400 times hotter than Tabasco-brand hot sauce. The scale to measure "hotness" of peppers and foods derived from them is called the Scoville scale. The ghost chili rings in at 1,001,304 Scoville units, while Tabasco is a measly 5,000 units at most.

The ghost pepper has become a sort of challenge for chili enthusiasts — those who think they can handle the heat. Here is an excerpt from a Travel Channel program some of these people at the Fiery Foods Festival in Albuquerque, N.M. last year. One woman in India takes things a bit far by rubbing the seeds, the hottest part of the pepper, in her eyes.

Will you try the Bhut jolokia salsa Thursday?

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