4 Fast Food Ghost Pepper Offerings You Might Not Have Known About, Because Wendy's Isn't The Only One
Apparently you guys out there in Internetland are still interested in Wendy's Jalapeno Fresco Spicy Chicken Sandwich and Ghost Pepper Jalapeno Fries. I suppose this is understandable, given my perhaps too-thorough coverage of these two offerings — and hey, since I generally operate on the “ask and ye shall receive” principle, here: Have a list of other fast food menu items with ghost peppers in them. Because guess what? Wendy's isn't actually the first chain to stick these suckers on the menu. I'll admit to being somewhat surprised that A) that's actually the case, and B) I had no idea any of these items existed until today… but what can you do, right?
As you likely already know, the ghost pepper, also known by the name “bhut jolokia,” scores roughly one million on the Scoville scale. It was certified as the hottest pepper in the world by Guinness World Records in 2007; however, it had to hand its crown to the Trinidad moruga scorpion in 2012. In 2013, though, the Carolina Reaper took the title, which it's held ever since.
So I guess the next step would be for all of these fast food places to start whipping up items featuring the Carolina Reaper, right? Apparently at its spiciest, this particular pepper has hit a whopping 2.2 million Scoville Heat Units. I can't imagine it tastes like anything other than a painful burning sensation… but maybe in small doses, it's not so bad. Especially if you drown one tiny speck of it in a whole lot of buttermilk sauce.
Anyhoo, here are four more fast food ghost pepper options that have made waves in recent years. Has anyone out there tried any of them?
1. Jack in the Box: Jack's Blazin' Chicken Sandwich
I don't know how I missed this one, but just last year — almost exactly a year ago, to be precise — Jack in the Box began offering a sandwich that sounds not too dissimilar from the Jalapeno Fresco Spicy Chicken Sandwich: Jack's Blazin' Chicken Sandwich tells me that it consists of a “spicy chicken fillet topped with Ghost Pepper Ranch sauce, grilled onions, spicy jalapenos, Swiss-style cheese, lettuce, and tomatoes, all on a jumbo bun.” I'm kind of glad Wendy's version skipped the lettuce and tomatoes, but maybe that's just me. There's also a Bacon Blazin' Chicken Sandwich, too; what's more, both are still available. Just, y'know… FYI.
2. Red Robin: Fiery Ghost Style and Cry Baby Style Burgers
Red Robin's pair of ghost pepper burgers hit the menu in 2012. According to the Huffington Post, the former featured a “sweltering blend of ghost pepper sauce and fresh, fried jalapenos”; the later, meanwhile, got its kick from “crispy and sauteed onions and ghost pepper ketchup.” The Cry Baby burger doesn't appear to be on he menu anymore, but you the Fiery Ghost one is still listed online as the “Fiery Ghost Double Tavern” burger.
3. Popeyes: Ghost Pepper Wings
Alas, these guys are no longer available — they were only offered for a limited time in 2014. They were marinated in an “exotic blend of peppers” (including ghost peppers, of course) for a whopping 12 hours before getting battered, breaded, and deep fried. Each six-piece order came with a biscuit on the side and some buttermilk ranch dipping sauce to cut the heat.
4. KFC Flaming Crunch Chicken
From what I've been able to determine, this option was only available at KFC locations in India. According to the Economic Times, KFC spent four months trying to find just the right type of pepper to use — and clearly the ghost pepper won out. Looks pretty intense, no?
Images: benloudman/Flickr; Jack in the Box; Popeyes