What are Trinidad Scorpion Chocolate peppers?
Their heat index numbers may be the same, but there’s a definite taste difference between the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion and the sub-variety, the Trinidad Scorpion Chocolate. One that’s reflected in its sweet, sweet name. It’s a mellower, less acidic flavor with smoky undertones and a hint of earthy sweetness. But don’t let that mellowing fool you. This is a super-hot pepper with fangs (1,200,000 to 2,000,000 Scoville heat units) — long, pointy fangs that’ll bite deep and hold on for a long, long time.
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Trinidad Scorpion Chocolate fast facts
- Scoville heat units (SHU): 1,200,000 – 2,000,000 SHU
- Median heat: 200,000 SHU
- Origin: Trinidad
- Capsicum species: Chinense
- Jalapeño reference scale: 150 to 800 times hotter
- Use: Culinary
- Size: Approximately 1 to 2 inches long, bulbous, with stinger tip
- Flavor: Sweet, Fruity, Earthy, Smoky
How hot is this chocolate scorpion pepper?
It’s as hot as the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion which makes sense since the chocolate scorpion is a sub-variety. Though it does tend to play closer to the upper ends of the 1,200,000 SHU to 2,000,000 SHU range of the Scoville scale. That makes the Trinidad Scorpion Chocolate one of the hottest peppers in the world, up there with the likes of the Carolina Reaper.
Putting that into perspective with our jalapeño reference point, that’s at least 150 times hotter than a jalapeño with the mildest possible chocolate scorpion. Eating the hottest possible chocolate scorpion could be as much as 800 times hotter than a jalapeño.
The spiciness of scorpion peppers is also a slow-building heat. It starts off as a low rumble and builds over time to a fiery inferno. It lingers for a long, long time. Needless to say: Danger, Will Robinson. Use gloves when handling a chocolate scorpion pepper, and beware eating it raw. Chilies at this heat level near pepper spray in terms of capsaicin potency. These are best used mixed in with other ingredients to dilute the pungency.
What does it look like and taste like?
The entire Moruga Scorpion family of peppers are an angry-looking bunch, that’s for sure. They are short, stubby, and gnarled and top out at an inch or two in length. They feature the famous stinger-like tips that, of course, provide them with their perfectly wicked name. The chocolate variety is a deep cocoa brown compared to the orangish-red of the typical Trinidad Moruga Scorpion.
There’s a fruitiness to the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion family of peppers that’s still there with the Trinidad Scorpion Chocolate. But where the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion has a more tropical, acidic taste, the chocolate sub-variety has a mellower, earthier flavor. It’s like the difference between the habanero and the chocolate habanero. It’s smokier, making it an excellent option for extreme barbecue marinades and smoky hot sauces. Though know, this chocolate sub-variety is not an easy find if you’re not a grower.
Where can you buy chocolate scorpion peppers and products made from them?
Super-hots, in general, are a tougher find in terms of retail shopping. They are not mass-market enough to typically show up on grocery store shelves. And on top of that, the Chocolate Moruga Scorpion is a lot rarer than its infamous super-hot cousin. There are many Trinidad Moruga Scorpion hot sauces and powders out there (Amazon), but finding the chocolate sub-variety may take some digging. You’ll want to check out farmer’s markets, specialty stores, and explore your online retail options.
Given how hard it is to find products featuring the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion Chocolate, you may want to head down the pepper scale and check out the chocolate habanero instead. There’s a similar smokiness, and there are many products out there made with the chocolate habanero that are much easier to find. Yes, they are not quite as hot, but they are very far from mild. It’s still an extreme chili pepper at about a third of the heat of the chocolate scorpion.