Eaters continue to up the amount of food they will consume, going above an beyond what’s seemingly human. But there’s another trend heating up. Eaters are taking their spice game to another level, putting away large amounts of what might seem too hot to handle.
In fact, there are now specific sanctioned eating events based not on how much you eat, but how high on the Scoville scale — a measure of spicy heat — the food is. And this, in turn, makes competitive eating that much more dangerous. With chili peppers so hot, we’ve actually seen professional eaters hospitalized from the effects on their digestive system. It’s not a pretty game.
So in honor of these heat eaters — or, “h-eaters,” as I like to call them — let’s take a look at the kings and queens of spice.
Photo Credit: STRDEL/AFP/Getty Images
World’s Hottest Edible Chili: Naga “Bhut” Jolokia
How hot is the Naga “Bhut” Jolokia chili pepper? Well, for the longest time it stood as the world’s hottest, checking in at nearly one million Scoville Heat Units (SHU) on the Scoville scale. That essentially means it’s 10,000 times hotter than Tabasco sauce. In fact, just recently at a Naga “Bhut” Jolokia wing contest in London, a contestant was hospitalized, when two wings left him gasping for air.
Amazingly, the world record for eating these chilis belongs to a 26-year-old Indian woman named Anandita Dutta Tamuly, who once ate 51 of them in two minutes. That’s not special, that’s insane.
World’s Hottest Inedible Chili: Trinidad Moruga Scorpion
This chili pepper was recently identified as the world’s hottest, checking in at twice the spice on the Scoville scale as the Naga “Bhut” Jolokia. That’s just over two million Scoville heat units. In fact, this pepper is so hot it really can’t be fully consumed. We have to bet that, sooner or later, someone will be dumb enough to try.
The Death Pizza
Made by the Nebraska Brewing Company, this is arguably the hottest pizza going, The five-pound pizza is covered in a sauce made out of ghost chili peppers and piled high with habanero peppers, pepper jack cheese, spicy hamburger and andouille sausage. The only person to ever finish a pie was amateur eater Molly Schuyler, who downed the entire thing in just under 25 minutes.
Photo Credit: Thinkstock
The spiciest curry dish on the market, the phaal curry is described by the folks over at the Brick Lane Curry House in New York City as “an excruciatingly hot curry.” They go on to say that it has “more pain and sweat than flavor.” Yikes. Many Indian restaurants offer up the phaal curry as sort of an eating challenge, a way to earn your “h-eating” stripes. One has to wonder, if it’s so excruciatingly hot, why bother? Wouldn’t your rather enjoy your food?
Chili Pepper Eyeballs
When Anandita Dutta Tamuly downed 51 Naga Jolokia chilis in two minutes, as mentioned above, it was truly one of the great moments in eating history. While that alone was an impressive feat, it wasn’t enough for Tamuly. She decided to rub it in… literally. She rubbed 24 of the same Naga Jolokia peppers in her eyes. Game. Set. Match.
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Tom Lorenzo is a freelance sports, entertainment and pop culture writer from New York City. You can follow him on Twitter @TomLorenzo.