Braehead gardener Alasdair Forsyth is gearing up for this weekend’s Braehead Flower Show, where he’s in with a great chance of winning the “Hottest Chilli” category. Alasdair has successfully grown a “Carolina Reaper”, officially the world’s hottest chilli. Measured on the ‘Scoville Scale’, it is 300 times hotter than the jalapenos you would expect to find on a plate of nachos.
“This is a really intense chilli and you’d be crazy to eat it in one go. Once finely chopped up, there’s enough chilli here to make dozens of really, really hot curries.”
The Carolina Reaper chilli is recognised by the Guinness Book of Records as the hottest ever, beating other plants with names as colourful as the chillies they grow, including the “Trinidad Scorpion”, the “Scotch Bonnet” and the “Naga Viper”. Alasdair has been growing chillies for over 20 years and added,
“Every year I try to cultivate a good few varieties because I love the different colours and different plants. The Carolina Reaper is a hard one to grow because the plant can get to a metre tall and you’ll only get one or two chillies. But if you grow something like a Demon Red, you’ll get lots of little chillies on a plant you can keep at the kitchen window. They make fantastic presents, as long as you remember to warn everybody to be careful!”
Alasdair is one of dozens of local growers hoping their creations ripen at just the right time for the annual event, this year on Sunday 27 August. With over 100 different categories covering carrots, cauliflowers, courgettes and more, if you’ve got a potential prize-winner growing in your garden, organisers want to remind you that the event is open to all growers, not just those in Braehead.
Community Garden Chairperson, and Stirling East Councillor, Chris Kane, says,
“I thought the honeybees were the most dangerous things at Braehead Community Garden, but now I’m not so sure! Our first Flower Show was a great success, but it is obvious listening to everybody that the competition has ratcheted up a notch or two for 2017. This is a great community event and whether you are a competitor or a spectator, I hope you’ll come and join us at Braehead on Sunday.
As well as chillies, fruit, vegetables and flowers, the show also includes categories covering everything from crafts, photography and home baking. You can download a full schedule here. Or if you’d simply like to see the entries or visit the award winning two and a half acre Braehead Community Garden, the Flower show is open to the public from 1.30pm-4pm, with the presentation of prizes at 3.30pm.