Flickr Pool Picks
Tabasco sauce is between 2,500-5000 Scoville units. In 2013, Guinness World Records gave the nod to Smokin' Ed's Carolina Reaper as the world's hottest chile pepper, with an average of 1,569,300 Scoville units. It's a cross between the ghost pepper and the red savina habanero and you can picks some up here. But get your Hazmat gear out.
For memorable Sichuan fare, head out to Little Pepper, 18-24 College Point Blvd [18th/20th Aves.] 718.939.7788, in Queens. It's still some of the most intense food of its kind in the city, and of course they make much use of many kinds of peppers, including green, pickled, chili, and Sichuan peppercorns (not technically a pepper, but never mind). Pete Wells gave the place the Times' benediction earlier this year.
The Field Guide to Peppers by Dave DeWitt (the "Pope of Peppers," pictured) and Janie Lamson—gives you the hot skinny on 400 varieties.
Peugeot pepper mills have been many a home cook's choice for their reliability. The Sweet Home's pick is the Peugeot Paris U'Select (the 9-inch is $45). But Foodal chooses the 9-inch Unicorn Magnum as the best pepper mill (also $45).
We could nibble on these for a very long time: at wine bar Casellula, 401 W. 52nd [9th/10th] 212.247.8137, they take the South African Peppadews (pickled peppers with a sweet start and a pleasantly warm kick), stuff them with buffalo mozzarella, and wrap with speck. And for Casellula fans (which we certainly are), owner Brian Keyser and the restaurant's original pastry chef Leigh Friend have a new book out next month: Composing the Cheese Plate: Recipes, Pairings, and Platings for the Inventive Cheese Course.
Get capsaicin-related news at Scott Roberts website that includes hundreds of sauce reviews. It's where we learned about Dragon's Blood Elixir, concocted in Putnam, Connecticut.
Among the memorable characters in the wonderful Harlem drag ball documentary Paris Is Burning, surely the one who will stay with you is the late, great Pepper LaBeija.
This Dr. Pepper FAQ will tell you about Morrison's Old Corner Drug Store in Waco, Texas, whether or not there was a real Dr. P., and how the Beatles are part of Pepperiana.
Get your Tellicherry pepper fix, along with soothing lemon verbena, in the chevre from Nettle Meadow Goat Farm, in Thurman, NY. Where to buy.
Black Pepper Bodywash
Pepper has been very good to Molton Brown. The popular (and pricey) line of skincare, bath, and body products from the U.K. has its biggest hit with the Black Peppercorn Body Wash, which adds an addictive, richly exotic aroma to a daily shower. Added to the mix is vetiver, basil, bergamot, and vanilla. Pasta sauce/body wash. You decide.