Anyone with a fondness for hot chili peppers should know the Dorset naga.

It was developed by Michael and Joy Michaud, owners of a British mail-order seed company (seaspringseeds.co.uk). They started with a Bangladeshi pepper, the Naga morich, and refined it until they got the Dorset naga, the hottest pepper in the world. Or close to it.

Guinness World Records listed the bhut jolokia pepper as the world's hottest in 2007 after it registered 1,001,304 Scoville heat units in testing. (A Scoville unit is a measure of the capsaicin, the heat-producing chemical, in a pepper.) The Michauds' little red beauties were tested at an eye-watering 1.6 million units by the University of Warwick (visit dorsetnaga.com for details).

In comparison, jalapenos come in at 2,500 to 8,000.

The Bangladeshis seldom cook with the Naga morich, Joy Michaud said via e-mail. She said that they consume them whole, breaking off pieces as they eat and mixing them with their food.