Ballantyne Magazine

Winter 2018

Ballantyne Magazine covers news, events, real estate, restaurants, shopping, health, schools and business in the upscale Ballantyne Area of Charlotte, NC.

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on the Scoville Heat Unit (SHU) scale. Currie worked with Winthrop Universi- ty and its graduate students to measure the heat units in his pepper. The Caro- lina Reaper registered 1.275 million units, which was the hottest pepper at that time, in fall 2004. Many years later, in 2013, Currie was at the Southern Women's Show in Charlotte contemplating how to lay off several employees because the business wasn't sustaining its operating costs. But he received news at the event that the Carolina Reaper once again held the Guinness World Record for the hottest "chilli" (sic) pepper, this time with an SHU of 1.569 million. The pepper won again in 2018 with a 1.641 million SHU. "I dropped to my knees crying, prais- ing God," Currie says of the news in 2013. "The people around me thought I was having a heart attack and called for the EMS cart." More than 100,000 orders came in the next month, and Currie was able to keep his staff. Currie had opened PuckerButt Pep- per Company on Main Street in Fort Mill in 2011. Hot sauces created and named by Currie — such as Shoot That's Hot, Bacon Me Crazy and I Dare You Stupit — are sold at the shop along with The Death Nut Challenge and Smokin' Ed's Carolina Reaper Peanut Brittle. The shop carries salsa, seeds and mustards and products from around the country, such as Boston Ballistic Newbury Nightmare and Aunt Emily's Cranberry Caramel. Executive Chef Garrett Merck of Gallery Restaurant at The Ballantyne, A Luxury Collection Hotel, Charlotte, was inspired by Currie's Carolina Reaper. "I grew a few plants from seeds collected from the original plants," Merck says. "For several years the origi- nal Gallery crew all had Reaper plants growing on their porches at home." Today, if you ask for hot wings with a kick at Gallery Restaurant, they'll be tossed in The Reaper Sauce. PuckerButt Pepper Company 237 Main St. Fort Mill, South Carolina 29715 803-802-9593 Monday-Thursday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday-Saturday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday: noon to 5 p.m. Beat the Pepper Heat Ed Currie, owner of PuckerButt Pepper Company, recommends chewing on a lime, lemon or even a grapefruit to beat the heat from a hot pepper. The acid from the fruit mixes with the capsinoids found in hot peppers and reduces the heat. "Citric acid is small enough to get down into where the reaction is going on," Currie says. "Doesn't make it go away — it makes it go away faster." BALLANTYNE WINTER 2018 - 2019 88 Who Knew? Currie's peppers are so hot that wearing gloves is necessary when handling them. Above: The Carolina Reaper pepper won the Guinness World Record in 2018 by scoring 1.641 million on the Scoville Heat Unit (SHU) scale. Left: Currie's shop carries hot sauces created and named by him as well as products from around the country. Photo by Ray Sepesy Photo by Ray Sepesy Photo by Ray Sepesy

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