You think you can handle a little chill heat? Check these out
Clifton Chilli Club chilli-eating contest
In this Southwest England town, adrenaline junkies compete at the Clifton Chilli Club Chilli-Eating Contest, a 17-round challenge that features ghost peppers and the Carolina reaper, the world’s hottest pepper by many accounts. Participants eat their way through increasingly spicy rounds of chili peppers, starting with the tame jalapeño, and moving up to the Scotch bonnet, the Naga king chili, and the 7 Pot habanero. Whoever makes it to the 17th round competes for the final trophy by consuming two of the selection’s hottest peppers as quickly as they can.
Naga king chili-eating competition
Every winter, locals and the rare foreign traveler gather to partake in the annual Naga King Chili-Eating Competition. Grown at the contest’s host site, Naga chili is up to 1.5 million Scoville heat units (SHU), which is almost incomparable to jalapeño’s mere 4,000 SHU.
Competitors have 20 seconds to eat as many of these chilies as they can, chewing each at least three times to ensure the capsaicin — the part of the chili that causes the spicy sensation — is actually released. Although anybody is free to compete, the queue was a dozen people short in 2013. One man swallowed five chilies before collapsing, while the winner made it to 14. The prize is $600, so unless you’re a serial chilihead, the trek abroad (and loss of intestinal functions) might not be worth it.
Bhut jolokia “ghost chili” challenge
Ban Karon, Thailand
Competitive eaters at Phuket’s oldest Indian restaurant are presented with a ghost chili curry that’s hundreds of times hotter than your regular drop of Tabasco sauce. To win, contestants must finish a bowl of bhut jolokia chicken or lamb vindaloo, and upon completion, endure three minutes without water. The entrance price is just a couple of bucks, and grants you a shot at the grand prize of a two-night stay at Karon Sea Sands Resort & Spa.