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Citrus Fire of the Fatalii Chilli

Prepare for a punch in the face from the get-go. While most chillies give you a couple of bites to savour its juice, the Fatalii’s searing burn is the first thing you will feel.

Scoville scale (SHUs)

125,000 to 400,000 SHUs

Claim to Fame

Extreme heat combined with citrus flavours

Fatalli is often compared to its cousin the Habanero. Both boast a very similar heat rating, they have a similar shape and both come from the Capsicum Chinense species of chilli. However, they differ in their taste and place of origin. The Fatalli, developed in Africa, offers a citrus-based, fruity flavour. If you can get past the heat, you’ll be rewarded. With a bit of lemon and lime thrown in, it’s a fresh flavour that compliments any light meal including seafood and chicken.

The pepper itself is fully ripe once it changes from a green to a bright yellow-orange colour. Finishing at seven centimeters long and about one centimeter wide, it looks like your typical pepper with its wide base coming to a crooked point. Yet there’s nothing typical about this pepper, it’s hot and citrusy flavours make it a fresh change from the habanero.

How hot are we talking? 

Fatalii ranges from 125,000 - 400,000 Scoville Heat Units, meaning the hottest variant is up to 160 times hotter than the jalapeño! The Fatalii just borders at the beginning of your range of super hot chillies. If you ever wanted to dabble with any record breaking heats such as the 2,000,000 SHU of the Carolina Reaper, the Fatalii is a good place to start.

Don’t forget, you will feel the heat straight away. With the tang of the citrus, the heat will spread right to the edge or your tongue, where you normally react to sour flavours. It will continue through your whole mouth, from the centre of the tongue to the roof of your mouth. Fortunately, if you’re a practiced chilli-eater, you won’t feel the burn travel down the rest of your body but it will just wait itself out for a couple of minutes in your mouth. So prepare your mouth for fire. Unless you’re a master of the habanero, take caution.

Fatalii varieties

There are four main types of Fatalii. The original is the Yellow Fatalii while the Red Fatalii is a tangier and sweeter version of the yellow. The White Fatalii will add a nice pop of colour to the meal and the Chocolate Fatalii will usually have a slightly more acidic savor to it.

Play with the flavours of any or all the Fatalii varieties and you can come up with a range of fiery fruity flavours.

How to use Fatalii?

Until this point we’ve referred to eating the chilli whole. However, adding the fatalii to a fresh meal or fruity salsa will balance the burn and let you appreciate the flavour. Due to its fruity nature, Fatalii works as a great combination with other fruits such as mango, papaya, pineapple, lemon, lime and tomato. Combined with these fruits, it can be made into a jam, hot sauce or chutney to work as a marinade or dressing. You can also dry the pepper. With their thin walls, they’re easy to dry and ground to make into a chilli powder. Due to their African origins they are often used in traditional African meals such as tajines and kerrie-kerrie dishes.

Image by By Tigerente, via Wikimedia Commons

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