Monday, July 18, 2011

Feats (and Feasts) of Strength with the Ghost Pepper

I have come to dub this the Demonwing.

Post and photos by the Hawthorne Hawkman, photos of Jeff Skrenes/Hawkman contributed.

We all have our little quirks.  For instance, Ed Kohler over at the Deets has his obsession with the presentation of hotel toilet paper at various locales.  In a way that's more connected than one might initially think, my fixation happens to be with the hottest pepper on the planet, the ghost pepper.  (Although I've heard that the Trinidad scorpion pepper is both hotter and has a more badass name, I've yet to encounter one available for consumption.)

In the top photo, fellow former NoMi resident, poet, and blogger Bryan Thao Worra and I shared several orders of ghost pepper wings at the Lowry Cafe as part of his going away party.  For the first time, I actually SENT THE WINGS BACK because even though they were spiced with these peppers, they simply weren't hot enough for a Laotian, a Latino dude, and a white boy with taste buds of steel.  That may not have been the wisest move, because later...

...the chef saw me putting away more of the wings than anyone else at the table.  I have since learned that when you're eating spicy foods and the chef comes out of the kitchen holding a small sample cup as far away from his nose as he can, while smirking at you, then you may want to consider wisely whether you ought to eat the contents of that cup.

Instead, he came to me and said, "Here's the hottest thing I know how to make.  Care to try it?"  Without a second thought I popped the boneless wing in my mouth and was quite literally brought to tears.  I began to have an understanding of what Nuclear Man from Superman 4 must have felt like.

Like this, but nowhere near as lame.

See?  Much better.
 Bryan Thao Worra (or BTW as he is often called) and I drove across the country in a moving truck, beginning the next day.  He vowed not to be outdone by the Hawthorne Hawkman, and at the Dos Hombres restaurant in Grand Junction, Utah, he had his revenge.  Eat a ghost pepper burrito in under 30 minutes and you get a free t-shirt AND your photo on their wall of fame.  BTW finished off the challenge in 9:30.  I declined to participate on the grounds that ghost peppers must be washed down with a beer.  And since I was driving the next shift, that was a big no-no.

They even made him sign a waiver.
The coup de grace.
And the commemorative t-shirt.
And in response to THAT accomplishment, I returned back to the place where I initially tried the ghost pepper - a restaurant in Upper Michigan called the Mine Shaft.  While there, I resolved to eat an entire order of ghost pepper wings without taking a single drink of water beer.


Upon seeing that done, our waiter informed me that they have a ghost pepper challenge:  eat 12 boneless wings with the pepper AND ghost pepper extract seasoning in 5 minutes or less without a drink of anything, and you'll get your name on a plaque.  Hear that Bryan?!--ON A PLAQUE.

1 comment:

  1. I personally don't think a wing counts as consumed unless you gnaw the delicious gristle off the ends of the wing bones.

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