Who Was That Scoville Guy, Anyway?

DaveBlast from the Past, Food HistoryLeave a Comment

Wilbur Scoville as A Young Man


We hear about Scoville Heat Units, the Scovie Awards, and the Scoville Organoleptic Test, but who was that guy, anyway? Well, during the Centennial of the Scoville Organoleptic Test in 2012, I set out to discover all I could about this legendary figure in fiery foods history.

I seriously doubt that Wilbur Scoville ever imagined that he would be most remembered for his Scoville Organoleptic Test that was the first attempt ever to quantify the heat of chile peppers, in 1912. He probably had convinced himself that he would be most famous for authoring The Art of Compounding in 1895, which is now in its ninth edition, a facsimile, published in 2010. Although he was interested in chile peppers, he didn’t write much about them, preferring to focus on even more bizarre chemicals like the cantharides in Spanish fly. Read the biography of Wilbur Scoville here.