The sign on vendor Patricia Monk's stall at the Eddy County Farmers Market says "Trinidad Scorpion" but there's not an animal in sight. That's because the Trinidad Scorpion is a variety of hot pepper that's considered the second hottest in the world due to the amount of capsaicin contained in the tiny vegetable.
Monk grows the edible heat bomb herself as a farmer in Artesia and admits that scientists who have tested the Trinidad Scorpion have classified it as 140 times more hot than the fiery jalapeno pepper. Monk admits that many of her customers simply don't believe that her special pepper offering is simply too dangerous to consume whole. But there are several who have tried.
Monk reports that several male co-workers at the University of New Mexico rebuffed her warnings not to put the entire pepper into their mouths. Many sheepishly told her later that biting into the Trinidad Scorpion was the hottest taste sensation that they had ever experienced.
At 50 cents each, the fiery pepper is certainly an affordable conversation piece for those who enjoy talking about unusual foods. Monk hasn't tasted the Scorpion pepper variety herself but plans on a taste test soon so she can advise her customers from personal experience just how small a piece can be safely tasted before a fire extinguisher and a tall glass of cold milk are required.