Fatalii Pepper Guide: Heat, Flavor, Uses

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What are fatalii peppers?

There are a few chili peppers as aptly named as the fatalii pepper. Obviously, it’s not fatal to eat a fatalii, but it’s definitely one of the hottest peppers around. You’ll feel it from the first bite, and it’ll rattle you to the core. There’s habanero-level heat in this unassuming yellow pod (125,000 to 400,000 Scoville heat units), and it’s a heat that lands a fast first punch. But what makes this chili extra special is what’s behind the quick sting. There’s a unique citrusy flavor that’s simply tasty. It’s the perfect hot pepper for citrus hot sauces and salsas, as well as dishes where lemon or lime is a critical component.

Fatalii pepper
Fresh fatalii peppers

Table of Contents

Fatalii pepper fast facts

Scoville heat units (SHU)125,000 – 400,000
Median heat (SHU)262,500
Jalapeño reference point14 to 160 times hotter
Capsicum speciesChinense
SizeApproximately 3 inches long, tapered
FlavorSweet, Fruity, Citrusy

How spicy is the fatalii pepper?

The fatalii falls squarely in the extra-hot level of the Scoville scale, with a Scoville heat range (125,000 to 400,000 Scoville heat units or SHU) nearly equal to its South American cousin, the habanero (100,000 to 350,000 SHU.) It’s just slightly hotter on both ends of the range, at the top end nearing even a super-hot chocolate habanero (425,000 to 577,000 SHU) in heat.

Compared to our jalapeño reference point, the fatalii ranges from 14 to 160 times hotter than a jalapeño, if you compare the mildest jalapeño to the hottest possible fatalii.

One distinction with the fatalii pepper is its uncommonly quick sting. Unlike the habanero and its other close habanero-type family members (like the Scotch bonnet and the Red Savina) where you have a somewhat slow burn, the fatalii’s heat is felt immediately. You’ll feel it on your tongue, especially the sides and center, which is where your taste buds are that respond to tangy and sour flavors.

Fresh fatalii peppers, roughly three inches long

What does it look like?

The fatalii ages from green to a citrusy yellow. There are red fatalii peppers grown as well, but these are not the heirloom variety. They are a strain off the original and often carry a bit more heat. In shape, these chilies grow to about three inches long, and they taper to a point. It’s a slimmer, more pepper-like profile than the more bulbous habanero or Scotch bonnet.

What does the fatalii taste like?

This is one of the more citrusy chilies you’ll come across. There’s more than a fruity hint of lemon and lime in the flavor, along with an earthy pepper taste. Its flavor is quite unique compared to its sweeter cousins like the scotch bonnet.

How is this chili used?

The citrusy tang to the fatalii makes this a perfect partner to any citrus hot sauce, citrus-based salsa, or dish that uses lemons or limes as a flavor booster. These are typically lighter meats like grilled chicken or fish. Fresh fatalii chili also works nicely with any fresh fruit that pairs well with oranges. Careful, though: That’s a fruit plate that’ll knock your socks off.

With the fatalii’s thin walls, drying them is also a terrific option. Dried fatalii is perfect to then crush into one of the more unique chili powders or pepper flakes you’ll find. Fatalii powder is perfect for sprinkling on a citrus plate to add some major heat.

Take care when handling fatalii peppers: this is a level of spiciness that needs great care in the kitchen. Otherwise, you’ll experience severe chili burn from the capsaicin in the fruit (primarily found in the pepper’s white membrane.) Wear kitchen gloves when chopping this chili. The fatalii is potent enough that you may want to also consider kitchen goggles to protect your eyes from the capsaicin.

And, know how to combat chili burn before you begin. Our post on combatting chili burn gives you the knowledge you need (hint, milk not water.)

Where can you buy fatalii peppers and products?

It’s not as common as any of its close relatives, that’s for sure. They are hard to find outside of specialty stores and farmer’s markets. Fatalii seeds and some fatalii hot sauces can be bought online, though. This chili makes an excellent hot sauce, so it’s well worth exploring hot sauces like CaJohn’s Fatalii Fire Hot Sauce (made from fatalii) to experience the citrusy taste.

  1. Fatalii Pepper Seeds, 10+ Seeds
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  2. Yellow Fatalii Pepper Powder, Volcano Dust
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    02/18/2024 08:54 pm GMT
  3. Carnival Hot Sauce (featuring fatalii, scotch bonnet, and scorpion peppers)
    $12.91 ($2.58 / Fl Oz)
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    02/18/2024 09:09 pm GMT

If you’re a habanero fan (and many are these days), there’s no doubt that the fatalii is a tasty change that you’ll enjoy. The extreme heat is still there, but the citrusy bite provides a new culinary palette to play with in the kitchen. In fact, many people prefer the taste of the fatalii over the habanero, and that’s high praise for this chili.

  • The Hot Pepper List: We profile over 150 chilies. Search them by name, heat, flavor, and origin.
  • Our Hot Sauce Rankings: We rank and review over 100 hot sauces. Search our rankings by hot sauce name and even by the chilies used in the sauce.
  • The Hottest Peppers In The World: The fatalii is hot, but there are many much spicier. Discover the hottest of the bunch.

UPDATE NOTICE: This post was updated on January 14, 2023 to include new content.
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