Red Savina pepper

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Red Savina
Red savina cropped.jpg
A Red Savina habanero, at near-optimum ripeness. Note characteristic deep red color.
SpeciesCapsicum chinense
Cultivar'Red Savina'
OriginCalifornia, United States
Heat Very hot
Scoville scale350,000-577,000[1] SHU

The Red Savina pepper is a cultivar of the habanero chili (Capsicum chinense Jacquin), which has been selectively bred to produce spicier, heavier, and larger fruit, ultimately more potent than its derivative.

Frank Garcia of GNS Spices, in Walnut, California, is credited as the developer of the Red Savina, but the exact methodology that Garcia used to select the hottest breeding strains is not publicly known.


The Red Savina typically measures 2 inches by 1.5 inches (5 x 3.5 cm),[2] and is described by cultivators as a "wrinkled" fruit with a "Chinese lantern" shape.[3] Unlike a conventional orange habanero, the Red Savina is distinctively dark red, and may have been bred using spicy red mutations of habanero.[4] Until 2011, it was protected by the U.S. Plant Variety Protection Act (PVP #9200255).[5]


The Red Savina chili once held the record as the hottest chili in the world (according to the Guinness World Records), but was displaced by the bhut jolokia chili (commonly and incorrectly translated to "Ghost Pepper") in February 2007. The Red Savina held the record from 1994-2006.[6]

Red Savina peppers were reported to allegedly score upwards of 577,000 on the Scoville scale, but this oft-quoted figure was never officially verified;[1] a group of researchers – including Regents Professor Paul W. Bosland at the Chile Pepper Institute at New Mexico State University – conducted a comparison experiment in 2005, which revealed that the Red Savina habanero averages a relative heat level of 248,556 SHUs. The CPI lists the spiciest Red Savina individuals recorded in their labs as approximately 500,000 SHUs.[7]

As a point of reference, the average orange habanero scores approximately 200,000 SHUs in high performance liquid chromatography tests (although some individuals have achieved on the order of 357,729 SHUs). The average bhut jolokia is 1,019,687 SHUs, and "blasted past" the Red Savina by a factor of 2 to emerge as the temporary title-holder.[8][9] However, the current Guinness World Record title-holder (as of August 2017), the Carolina Reaper, has scored a maximum value of 1,641,183 SHUs.[10]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b DeWitt, Dave; Bosland, Paul W. (2009). The Complete Chile Pepper Book. ISBN 978-0-88192-920-1.
  2. ^ Caz Hildebrand (2018). An Anarchy of Chilies. Thames & Hudson. ISBN 978-0-500-02183-5.
  3. ^ "Vegetable Cultivar Descriptions for North America – Pepper (M-Z) | Cucurbit Breeding". Retrieved 2019-11-07.
  4. ^ Bray, Matt (2013-07-11). "Red Savina Habanero: Legendary Heat". PepperScale. Retrieved 2019-11-07.
  5. ^ "Plant Variety Protection Number: 9200255 (Red Savina)". U.S. Department of Agriculture. 1992-08-26. Retrieved 2014-01-03.
  6. ^ "World's hottest chile pepper discovered". American Society for Horticultural Science. Retrieved 2008-03-31.
  7. ^ "Heat". Retrieved 2019-11-07.
  8. ^ "Chart From The Chili Pepper Institute".
  9. ^ "World's Hottest Chile Pepper Discovered". ScienceDaily. Retrieved 2019-11-07.
  10. ^ "Hottest chilli pepper". Guinness World Records. Retrieved 2019-11-07.