FORT WORTH — Ronnie Walley wants to get his hands on some special pepper seeds.
If he can get just 10 or 15 seeds of the Naga Viper, he can add the newly named world's hottest pepper to the collection he grows in his backyard.
"There is a demand," said Walley, 61, of Fort Worth, owner and operator of AlabamaJacks Exotic Superhots. "We are always wanting the hottest pepper in the world."
That title had been held until just recently by the bhut jolokia, or "ghost chile," which is grown in India.
But the pepper industry was shaken up this month when it was announced that a British chile farmer, Gerald Fowler, crossbred three of the hottest known peppers — the bhut jolokia, naga morich and Trinidad scorpion — to create the Naga Viper.
A regular jalapeño measures 2,500 to 8,000 on the Scoville scale, which measures a pepper's heat. The bhut jolokia earned the title of world's hottest pepper at 1,001,304 Scoville units.
The Naga Viper eclipses that, measuring 1,359,000 on the scale, according to researchers at the Warwick University in England.
"I'm sure the pepper is going to be hot," said Walley, who grows about 350 pepper plants in his west Fort Worth back yard. "My favorites are the super-hots. You have to be careful handling them."
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