Spanish entrepreneurs growing the hottest chilis in the world

[Food ★★★]


(P1) Spanish entrepreneurs are feeling the heat as they grow the world’s fiercest chilis in the Guadalhorce valley.

(P2) Pedro Gallardo and his partners are taking advantage of the booming chili peppers market and have grown 39 different varieties on land in Cartama.

(P3) Their Mucho Macho has honed in on 20 varieties, which are being cultivated for the first time this year. They plan to produce 40 tonnes in 2016.

(P4) “Hot chilis are in fashion and sales are booming; especially in the US, UK, China, and Italy, which are the world’s biggest consumers,” said Pedro, “We are planning to sell the chilis fresh, dried and ground. We are also going to make spicy olive oils to be sold in Spain and abroad.”

(P5) Their hottest variety is the Carolina Reaper, which contains more than 2,200,000 Scoville units – the measure of how hot a chili is. For an idea of scale, a Padron pepper measures 2,500 units.

WORDS: 153


VOCABULARY: entrepreneurs, fiercest, booming, honed in, cultivated, tonnes, ground


If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.

  1. Briefly, summarize the content of the article in your own words.
  2. Do you like spicy food? Why or why not?
  3. Why do you think people eat really hot and spicy chilis? Why or why not?
  4. If someone gave you $1000 USD, would you eat a Padron pepper? Why or why not?


  1. Where are the most intense chilis grown in Spain?
  2. Pedro Gallardo is the sole owner of the business. (T or F)
  3. How many metric tons of the Mucho Macho type chili are in the forecast?
  4. Which 3 forms will the chilis be sold in?
  5. What else will the business sell?


What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • Feeling the heat (P1)
  • Hot chilis are in fashion (P4)
  • Sales are booming (P4)
  • Scoville units or scale (P5)

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Image source: by Fæ

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