Not far from La Posta, at New Mexico State University, Paul Bosland, regents professor of horticulture and founder of the Chile Pepper Institute, is lobbying for chile heat to be recognized as the sixth taste, along with salty, sweet, sour, bitter, and umami. Bosland is currently known in pop-food circles as the man who cultivated the bhut jolokia chile, also known as "the ghost pepper," which, at a million-plus units on the Scoville scale that measures capsicum ferocity, is officially the world's hottest pepper. (By contrast, jalapeños rate a measly 5,000.) Bosland took us out to a University garden in which all kinds of chiles are grown, from common bell peppers to the incendiary bhut jolokia. After noting that a single drop of the latter's venom will ulcerate human skin, he picked one of the inconspicuous orange pods from its bush and merrily rubbed it all over his eyelids, nose, and lips. "If you enter a hot chile—eating contest, you can beat anyone if you bite only the wall of the pepper," he informed us. "All of chiles' heat is inside, in the membrane."