The North East can lay claim to another food first – the home of the UK’s hottest popcorn.
The Consett Popcorn Company’s Dr Burnörium’s Psycho Corn is made from the fiery Naga Jolokia chilli pepper, which is so strong the team at the County Durham-based firm have to wear masks while making it.
The super-spicy popcorn has been created exclusively for snack and hot sauce producer Psycho Juice.
It is the Consett Popcorn Company’s most experimental flavour to date.
Catherine Furze, who runs the Consett Popcorn Company alongside husband Richard, says: “The Psycho Juice team are famous for selling extremely strongly spiced snacks and sauces, and our challenge was to create popcorn mild enough to be edible but hot enough to appeal to their die-hard customers.”
The Naga Jolokia, or ‘ghost pepper,’ was declared the hottest chilli pepper in the world in 2007, recording a level of 1,001,300 Scoville heat units - almost double that of the previous record holder, the Red Savina Habanero.
“The heat it contains almost beggars belief,” adds Catherine.
“The scent alone can knock you off your feet, so we have to wear full face masks when we’re handling the chilli powder, along with gloves to ensure it doesn’t touch our skin.”
Although it is a recent addition to the Psycho Snacks’ range, the corn is proving popular, according to the Bristol-based firm’s MD and founder Nick Moore.
“We’re breaking quite new ground with hot chilli popcorn, but the reason it works is because it’s not just about heat .It’s got a beautiful sweetness and a kick of lime as well.
“I knew early on in my talks with Catherine and Richard that they were the right people for this. Not only do they have the expertise and a proven track record but they produce a really high quality product.”
The Consett Popcorn Company launched in 2008 and makes its own low calorie Love Popcorn label as well as flavour pairings for rival brands.
Dr Burnörium’s Psycho Corn is available online at Amazon and from www.hotsauceemporium.co.uk .
To find out more about the Consett Popcorn Company and Love Popcorn, visit www.lovepopcorn.co.uk .