The zing with a sting
The Dorset Zinger is a superhot exclusive to the seed company of the same couple that created the Dorset Naga®. Joy and her husband Michael Michaud of West Bexington, Dorchester in the United Kingdom, never stopped after their success with the Dorset Naga® They have gone on to develop many Chillies unique to them through their breeding programme at their specialist nursery in West Dorset.
In the case of the Dorest Zinger, they received some Chilli seeds as a gift from a friend. After growing these seeds in their nursery, they were surprised to discover just how pungent a Chilli this is. Testing by Warwick Horticultural Research International revealed it to have a Scoville heat rating of over one million SHU. So, it ranks right up there with some of the hottest Chillies in the world.
The Dorset Zinger is part of the Capsicum chinense species. It shares this species with Chillies like the Carolina Reaper, Bhut Jolokia’s, Hainan Yellow Lanterns. Trinidad Moruga Scorpions, Scotch bonnets, and the Dorset Naga® Many (although not all) Chillies in the Capsicum chinense species are very hot indeed. The hotter varieties range from 100000 to 350000 SHU (Scotch Bonnets, for example) to the superhots with Schoville heat ratings in excess of 1000000 SHU.
The Dorset Zinger falls definitely falls into the superhot category. It is a Habanero with a SHU rating of approximately 1060000. When mature, its “cone shaped” fruit reaches a size of slightly over one and a half inches wide (20 mm) and two inches (50 mm) long. Its curious shape reminds me of an ice cream cone with a scoop of ice cream. It could also be described as conical with a pinched waist. Generally, the pods are pointed at the end and taper up into the shape mentioned. It is not the prettiest of Chillies!
The Dorset Zingers fruit changes from light green to a matt red when it ripens. The skin of the Chilli is thin and smooth but has the distinguishing characteristic of being scattered with tiny pimples.
Dorset Zingers grow to a medium height and have an open growth habit. They are quite short and bushy for superhot Chillies. Their seed to maturity growing period is quite long. However, if seeds are started in January or February (or even earlier), it is possible to produce a crop from this Chilli in a single growing season.
The Zinger’s flavour can be described as Habanero like, with a typical strong superhot taste. In line with other superhots, the Dorset Zinger can be used in cooking (among other things) to make hot sauces, Chilli mash and Chilli flakes . It could probably also be used to make curries like Phaal. Phaal is the hottest curry to be found in the United Kingdom. It can contain as many as twelve Scotch bonnets.
For use in regular cooking, remove the seeds and white membrane from the Chillies. These are the parts that contain the most capsaicin. It would be a good idea to do this when making Chilli mash that is to be frozen. The mash can be frozen in ice trays and used as individual blocks to add flavour to food. Add one cube at a time until the heat level is just right. You wouldn’t want to spoil your food by making it too hot.
I purchased seeds for this Chilli directly from Joy and Michael at Sea Spring Seeds
Images courtesy of Sea Spring Seeds
Tparsons /CC BY-SA 3.0 / via Wikimedia Commons