No, no! This is not a traditional chili presentation! So many have already done that, and honestly, I’m a bit tired of it. Let’s approach a pepper’s characteristics from a different angle! This, the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion chili, is a super strong variety. I’ve already dealt with SHU numbers in my previous writings, there are also many different data here. Even Paul Bosland wrote that they (NMSU) measured an average of 1.2 million SHU, but there were samples above 2.0 million in some strains.
It supports what I’ve been saying for a long time, that the strength (capsaicin content) of the same variety of chili is not constant, not uniform, even if they are grown on the same area or picked from the same plant! The spiciness depends on about a thousand things, let’s accept this quietly! (There is an ongoing cultivation experiment where individuals from the same population are taken from different places in Europe, geographically and climatically different, and then examined. Results are expected later)
Perhaps because of my age, or because I bathe in chili from January to December, I am more interested in the history of the variety and, in my opinion, the non-standardized shape so far.
Flag of Trinidad & Tobago
Trinidad is officially known as the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. Christopher Columbus discovered the island on July 31, 1498, and named it Trinidad, after the Holy Trinity (in Spanish). The island was first a Spanish colony and later became a British colony, as is often the case in world history. Trinidad was independent since 1962. Trinidad is also known for being one of the first countries to adopt the reality TV show format, in 1990, a radical group called Jamaat Al Muslimeen, led by Yasin Abu Bakr (also known as Lennox Philip), attacked the Red House (the parliament building) and the country’s only television station broadcasted the government’s five-day captivity live. Currently, Trinidad and Tobago is one of the most stable and thriving democracies in the Caribbean region, and its national dish is a rice and meat dish called pilau. Amen!
Trinidad rice & meat – source: cookpad.com
Source: The Trinidad & Tobago Guardian
In 2012, the first publication was found about a cultivation experiment that was being done in the USA. Due to the date of the article, which I believe was in February, this likely occurred in 2011, so these varieties were discovered or found before 2010.
Ignoring the idea that some well-known (typically American) growers wanted to gain media attention, the story could not be taken in the direction of American breeding, since it would have gotten as much criticism as the famous/infamous Carolina Reaper. Therefore, until 2016, we can talk about a spontaneously cross-bred local variety, whose location of discovery (you will not guess) is Trinidad and Tobago!
Then it happened that in 2016, a local farmer named Wahid Ogeer from Trinidad appeared and told the Trinidad & Tobago Guardian that this noble variety is his offspring!
Although the picture quality is poor, the pepper in the picture does not look like the known Moruga shape, but „a small flaw in a beautiful woman does not matter!” The history of the variety is not well researched, so there may be exaggerations, and misunderstandings, whether accidentally or deliberately.
I read in several places that it’s called Moruga because it was “discovered” in Moruga province.
Well, please everyone calm down!There is no Moruga province in Trinidad!
There is, however, a city called Moruga. Or a village. Let’s call it a city. It’s located in the south, in the middle of Trinidad Island.
Moruga! There it is!
There is also a museum there! I love museums! It’s a local history collection, but never mind!
The Moruga Museum. There seem to be peppers in the small garden! Source: Google Maps
If I ever get here, I will definitely check this out! source: Google Maps
This hole in the chair, with a billy under it, must be of great value, as four pictures of it have been uploaded to Google Maps!
I couldn’t find any information about the pepper in Moruga, maybe it’s not as big a deal there as it is around the world. Etymologically, this would make sense as well, since if a pepper develops in Moruga, the people of Moruga would not call it the Moruga pepper, but if they sell it or someone takes it somewhere else and they are asked where it’s from they would answer: Moruga! So from then on it becomes the Moruga pepper. Perhaps you understand what I am trying to convey! There is a rule of thumb in etymology that something generally gets its first, oldest name from the place it comes from. Scottish whisky, French champagne, etc., etc. Therefore, there may be some truth in the Moruga location regarding the origin of the pepper. It doesn’t help the assumption that Mr. Wahid lives on the other side of the island, but in this case, it only means 40-50 km. He has a 25-hectare farm somewhere between Chickland and Caparo. According to him, that’s where the miracle happened. Let it be that way!
…let’s continue the story, …
2007 the Bhut Jolokia was the Guinness record holder as the world’s hottest pepper, until 2011 when the less well-known and respected Infinity took this title. I think there’s one more record that belongs to the Infinity, that is, it held this title for only two weeks because the Naga Viper dethroned it.