When friends and acquaintances think of Roger Roberts, they always imagine him in the cockpit flying some airplane or standing under scaffoldings issuing instructions at a construction site ? never tending to plants.
The Gaborone-based?Motswana construction company owner and airline captain?has, however, managed to grow the acclaimed world?s hottest chili pepper called the Dorset Naga. In an interview with The Sunday Standard, Roberts stated that he planted these chilies from seeds obtained in the United Kingdom (UK) from the official distributor.
He emphasized that this is a very rare chili and difficult to grow. Out of ten seeds he obtained, he said he managed to grow three plants, two of which have matured to fruition stage. ?They were planted in mid July 2006 and bore the first chilies in January 2007. Having planted them in mid winter they had to be carefully nurtured and given tender loving care which I willingly and diligently provided,? explained Roberts. He said the mature fruits of Dorset Naga are a wonder to behold. Roberts says the chili is almost twice as hot as Red Savina, which is currently the world record holder chili.? He said it registered a score of 923,000 scoville heat units (SHU) as against 514,000 SHU of the current Guinness Book of Records holder. ?The Red Savina,?clearly making?the Dorset Naga a contender for the title ?hottest chili in the world,? he said.
Whilst some ordinary hot chili peppers can set your mouth on fire, make your eyes weep and put a zing in your ears, Robert stressed that Dorset Naga will?surely blow your head off. ?It is not a joke! You could literally end up in hospital if you were foolish enough to eat a whole one on your own,? he added.
According to Roberts, Dorset Naga has a scorching heat of around a 1,000,000 Scoville Heat Units, making these chilies significantly hotter than any other chili ever measured. Along with its heat, he highlighted that Dorset Naga is backed up by a powerful aroma that imbibes any dish with a wonderful, distinctively fruity flavor. ?The fruits are roughly cone shaped, and about 2 cm wide at the shoulders and up to 4 cm long, though they can be smaller. Naga are traditionally used green, but we sell Dorset Naga at both green and red stages,? he explained. Adding on, he stated that this chili is extremely hot and should be used with the greatest caution.
When picking these chilies Robert said one must wear gloves to avoid being injured as this is not the type of burn you can just wash off under the tap. Citing an example, Robert said at one of his construction sites, his tough and?macho?construction workers were very doubtful about his dorset naga claims and teased him about it. They dared him to give them some to try so they could prove him wrong once and for all. He said he challenged them by adding only four seeds from one fruit of the?Dorset Naga to the entire pot of stew which was being prepared for them for lunch.
From the first spoon the ferocious sting of the Dorset Naga immediately began burning holes in the workers? tongues and lips, bombarding their senses. As though this was not enough,?he said the still hungry workers later tried?to salvage the meal by washing the meat thoroughly before attempting to eat it again. Unfortunately the Doreset Naga had penetrated the meat, making it impossible to eat even then.? ?This showed that the Dorset Naga had lived up to its reputation!? he stressed.