Top Chili Cookoffs & Hot Sauces Festivals for 2016: Can You Survive the Heat?
There’s a chill in the air and that can only mean one thing: chili cook-off season is right around the corner! Every year, hundreds of sanctioned International Chili Society (ICS) cook-offs take place with the winners advancing to the world finals. This year’s champions, crowned in Reno, Nevada, competed for titles in red chili, green chili and salsa. It’s not all hot bowls of chili at the cook-offs: chili festivals are also known for their hot sauce sampling contests.
For extreme hot sauce lovers, there’s no such thing as a sauce that’s too spicy or too hot. Capsicum is the active ingredient in hot sauce that sets our mouths on fire or, for the more extreme sauces, leaves us feeling like a blowtorch just blazed a trail of destruction through our mouths. Can you survive?
Turn Up the Heat: Hot Sauce Shooting at Chili Festivals
The original hot sauce standard bearer Tabasco is 5,000 Scoville Heat Units (SHU), which is roughly equivalent to eating a jalapeno; you’re starting to sweat, but not dying (yet). The more Scoville units, the hotter the pepper: Tabasco’s habanero sauce, for example, clocks in at 7,000 units. Not enough fire? Head up the scale to the more extreme end, where sauces made from ghost peppers (855,000 to 1 million SHU) are sure to leave you in tears. Over the last decade, hot sauce makers have upped the ante for heat by using extracts from super-hot chile peppers.
The current world-record holder for heat is the Carolina Reaper. Cultivated in South Carolina, the Carolina Reaper topped the scale at 2.2 million SHU. Before that, the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion held the title at 2 million SHU, and was fondly known amongst those who survived the encounter as “so hot you might be better off eating an actual scorpion.” Yikes!
Cooling the Burn: How to Soothe Spicy Butt
As any die-hard “chile-head” knows, what burns on the way in will burn just as fiercely on the way out. Even if you can down multiple bowls of chili doused in hot sauce, your body may not be able to hold it all down! Thanks to the chemical compound capsicum, spicy foods cause indigestion, heartburn and loose stools. Your body can’t break down capsicum effectively during digestion, so the food moves quickly through your digestive track, resulting in loose stools. As since capsicum and other compounds are still in your stools on the way out, the end result is a particularly painful bowel movement. Hello, spicy butt and fiery poops!
Before heading off for a day of chili sampling and hot sauce shooting, be sure to grab a cooling, hygienic cleansing lotion like Soothe N Wipe. The convenient travel size makes it easy to take this life saving, butt cooling lotion wherever you go. When an emergency strikes far from home, you’ll be prepared. Your butt will thank you on what would otherwise be a very uncomfortable and painful ride home!