Hot, hot hot – ‘world’s hottest pepper’ eating contest

The plucky and the unlucky tried to wolf down as many Carolina Reaper peppers – the spiciest in the world – as they could in a minute at a food-eating contest in New York on Sunday.

‘The Guinness Book of World Records Carolina Reaper Eating Challenge’ took place at the seventh edition of the annual Hot Sauce Expo.

Wayne Alegnio was declared the eventual winner, after managing to eat 96 grammes of hot peppers in under a minute. He described the winning feeling in an interview afterwards. “My body feels like it is on fire and I don’t know if I will ever do this again. It feels bad, it’s going to be bad.”

The record attempt was sponsored by the Puckerbutt Pepper Company, whose owner developed the Carolina Reaper. Ed Currie, known by many in the hot sauce industry as ‘Smokin’ Ed’, cultivated the plant at his farm in Rock Hill, South Carolina.

Guinness World Records would declare it the hottest chilli pepper in the world back in 2013. It scores an average of 1,641,183 on the Scoville scale, which measures spiciness or heat. To put that into context, it’s around 300 times hotter than a Jalapeno pepper.

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