Hello everybody, how have you been? I apologise for neglecting this blog, I am shit. Nothing more to it than that I’m afraid. Anyway, time for another chapter in the adventures of PK
Last week I went to Chillifest at Leven’s Hall in Cumbria, and actually literally it blew my mind. There were bits everywhere.
What I should probably point out here is the degree of my love of hot (as in spicy) food, and my propensity to go to far. Whenever we go to an Indian restaurant, I almost definitely end up embarrassing everyone by specifically going into great detail about how spicy I want my meal.
“Please, try to understand. Much hotter than you would normally do it, hotter than a Phaal, please don’t think it is mere bravado, I really want it really really hot”
At this point most people are hiding there faces in shame/trying not to laugh, usually Newson (my usual co-conspirator) is trying to corroborate my claim.
On nearly all occasions I haven’t been satisfied, not that I’m saying the meal itself wasn’t nice (more often than not I am met with a brilliant curry) but the heat level leaves a little to be desired.
I am really into spice, and in fact flavour in general. I know all about the science behind chillies, why it hurts, why people like it etc. I wont go into that now, but ask if you want to know, I’ll just let you know the basics for the purposes of understanding what I have just been through.
The heat of a chili is measured in “Scoville Heat Units”, the classic base that most people go from is Tabasco sauce, which is fairly common and the general public can relate to it. Tabasco sauce is approx 2,500SHU.
Chillifest is really good. There are loads and loads of stalls, giving away free tasters of anything and everything chilli related. Chilli cheese, chilli jam, chilli marmite, chilli peanut butter, chilli coffee. Basically name something, the add the prefix “chilli” and it was likely to be there. There is also a tent with a live band, and a tent where experts give talks and demonstrations about the wonderful sublime chilli.
Newson and I went last year, and I (Newson is a wimp) tried some seriously hot stuff. This year was nothing short of ridiculous.
As soon as we got in we had a glance around, and I saw the man who gave me the hot stuff last year. An intimidating figure, wearing a chilli shirt, with an evil glint in his eye he is scarily and dangerously charismatic. I am sure he is the Devil. He was chatting to a woman who had a very expensive looking camera with her, and as soon as he saw me he nudged her and charged towards me.
“These guys do all the festivals, trying to find the hottest challenges, we’ll get this going for you now” – might I add this is not true.
I asked if I could come back in 10 after looking round, as I’d only just got there and I knew what was in store, he was having none of it.
By now I was at his stall, with a pretty big crowd, and apparently ITV1 documenting the event.
“First of all, we will try the spray, Kiss The Devil”, I had three squirts
Allegedly a 10++ on their hot list, this one was fine. But Straight way he was back, this time with:
This is 1,500,000. 1.5 million for fucks sake. I’ll do the math, that is 600 times hotter than Tabasco sauce. Can you even comprehend that? I can’t. It got worse:
The next sauce I tried isn’t listed on the website, so I shall describe it. It was simply called “NITRO” and had a picture of a mushroom cloud on the bottle. It was a clear/translucent liquid, a bit like lemon juice. It tasted like petrol/alcohol, it was giving off a lot of vapour. If I remember this one was about 4.6 million, a mere 1840 times hotter than Tabasco. It felt like it was melting through my tongue like the blood from Alien. It didn’t stop there.
Next up was a deep red sauce, another not on the site, I really wasn’t with it at this point. I can’t remember what it was called, I do remember someone shouting 6.4 million though. Man alive. 6.4 million is 2560 times hotter than Tabasco sauce. That is to say if you have had Tabasco and thought it was spicy, you are in for a treat.
The final dose was not even a sauce, it was just pure Capsacin extract mixed with enough water to make it safe and easy enough to produce. 7.3 million, about 3000 times hotter than Tabasco. This is the one I tried last year, last year I had two tiny dots on a cracker. This year, after having all I had just consumed, the Devil man dug the handle of a plastic spoon in the bottle, and got a massive glob. I was 100% shitting myself. He asked if any of my friends wanted to join me, as he though it was unfair of them to leave me on my own. In my intoxicated state of euphoria and intense searing pain I tried to get them but I ended up looking like a tranquilised gorilla. I was about to decline the offer of the final sauce, but Newson shouted “Come on Paul, you can do it!” and before I knew it I had put the whole thing in my mouth and sucked all the goo from the spoon handle, which had been permanently dyed by the thick, evil looking black paste.
I am finding it hard to accurately describe the sensations I was feeling at that moment. The most intense, unrelenting pain, burning, feeling like there is acid in your mouth. Your whole body is tingling, and you are sweating, and your sweat stings. You are itching all over, and you can’t breathe, or should I say you can’t catch your breath. your heart is going very very fast, a bit too fast.
At the same time you have massive waves of euphoria pulsating through you, you feel great, it is ridiculous.
The first thing i did was run to get some ice cream (Milk based products help the most). I couldn’t talk, or really see, or even really walk properly, it was more of a desperate stagger. I festooned most of my possesions onto other people, (something I don’t remember doing) and Katie or Newson got me the ice cream. My throat was so swollen however that the ice cream didn’t actually get there, it evaporated entirely before reaching the back of my throat. After two ice creams, a frozen yoghurt, and a smoothie (not the chilli ice cream, yoghurt, or smoothie they were selling) about 45 minutes later, I had recovered. I say recovered, but I was still in terrible pain, but I had stopped shaking, and I could talk for more than a few seconds. At somepoint during this debacle the ITV1 lady interviewed me, and explained that she was doing a documentary about the Lake district, and it would be shown in January. I can’t wait.
On the way out, we were going through the last of the stalls, and I spotted the Devil man again. My heart stopped, I tried to avoid him, but he saw me, he had me in his sights. He came right up to me, offered a hand to shake, and as I gripped, he sarted walking backwards, towards HIS stall.
“I’ve got another sauce for you”
He was like the fucking pied piper, I was too weak to argue and resigned myself to following him, just murmuring “No, no.” quietly. Katie tried to grab me and separate our hands “Don’t do it Paul! Leave him alone, he’s had enough!”. When we got to the stall the man gave me a free bottle of “The Beast”, worth about £8.00 or something, I thanked him and ran out.
Andy took a video of the latter half to the trauma. The man in the chilli shirt is the evil man I have been speaking of. It can be seen below:
and here is a link to chileseeds.co.uk, the proprieters of this mayhem.
I need a lie down