Over the past decade or so, there’s been a race to make everything as spicy as possible. New chile peppers like the Trinidad Scorpion Butch T make jalapeños look like marshmallows, hot sauces are adding extracts and pure capsaicin (the chemical that makes spicy foods spicy) to reach stratospheric levels of heat, and even spicy almonds are hitting the shelves. So it only makes sense that some spicy tortilla chips would make their way into grocery stores as well. Doritos has released a few spicy versions, but none were exceptionally hot. There’s one brand, however, that is truly pushing the envelope with spicy chips, and after trying them, we can confirm that they’re in fact really spicy.
Paqui prides itself on making tortilla chips that contain no artificial ingredients or preservatives and are GMO-free, and we’re big fans of their nacho cheese-flavored chips, which give Doritos a run for their money. Their line includes a Haunted Ghost Pepper flavor, and any chilehead should pick up a bag, stat. Ingredients include ghost pepper, cayenne pepper, chipotle pepper powder, and chile powder, and when we sampled them you could really taste it. Ghost peppers were once the spiciest chiles on earth, and are infamous for being the first chile to top 1 million units on the Scoville heat scale (jalapeños top out at about 8,000). Even though these chips aren’t nearly as spicy as popping a full ghost pepper into your mouth, the spice still burns, and has us reaching for the nearest glass of water pretty quickly.
The bag actually has its own warning label, which states: “Paqui is not responsible for any injuries that may result from ingesting this delicious terror.”
And if you’re wondering what the current spiciest pepper on earth is, well that would be the Carolina Reaper. True to form, Paqui has made a Carolina Reaper chip, but it’s not currently available to the public. And yes, it’s just a chip; it’s so spicy that they’re sold in packs of one. If you want to watch a few members of The Daily Meal team subject themselves to it, you can do so here.