Ghost Pepper

The Crying Game – Take III: Bad Joke

We previously brought you news of an ill-starred chef from London, UK, who made a supercharged hot sauce from the potentially deadly Naga Bhut Jolokia, or Ghost Pepper and nearly died tasting it. Now, a student at a U.S. high school has tried to do him one better – again, to the perpetrator’s own dismay…

Ghost PepperNaga Bhut Jolokia – Ghost Pepper

The Ghost Pepper has been the subject of many a culinary myth and legend and not a few recent news stories. Blazing it’s way onto the hot charts as an almost unbelievable 1.5 million Scoville units, its fifteen times hotter than the devilish Habañero.

You have to get it at specialty shops, and most of them make you sign a disclaimer holding them safe from any consequences that arise from your use of the stuff.

So, what does this Chicago high school kid do? He gets a bottle of the stuff, sneaks into the cafeteria just before lunch and dumps the whole thing into the huge pot of Marinara Sauce the cooking staff had prepared for the day’s pasta entré.

Fortunately, no one was seriously injured. The staff knew something was amiss as soon as they lifted the lid of the serving turreen; the fumes, alone, were powerful enough to knock down a horse. Not only that, but three kitchen staffers were sent to hospital with palpable injuries including coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath and skin rashes.

They caught the culprit. He’s a minor. He’s to be disciplined by the School Board, and police have laid multiple juvenile charges in connection with the ‘prank’. What he did constituted food vandalism, precipitating food waste. I think that’s criminal! And he potentially put the whole school population in real, physical danger, had they eaten the stuff.

Where do you draw the line between ‘prank’ and reckless endangerment?

~ Maggie J.