The First Sydney Chilli Challenge

The First Sydney Chilli Challenge


Posted 2014-05-18 by Tom Desufollow

Sat 24 May 2014

In the early 16th Century, the Dutch arrived in Indonesia to secure spice and pepper trade for Europe. With the subsequent large numbers of Indonesians immigrating to Holland, trade and cultural sharing flourished. Now, Indonesian spices are everywhere in Holland, and the Dutch have a taste for chilli. In the year 2000, a Dutch couple, Marcel and Connie De Wit were living and running a restaurant named Joel's in Avoca Beach, Australia. During that September, looking to make some extra money, they went to the Flora Festival in Gosford. Armed with chilli sauces they had made from left over cooking supplies in the restaurant, they set up a stall. Selling out on the first day, they rushed home that night and cooked up a fresh batch. This continued every day of the four day festival. The seed was planted, and from it The Chilli Factory grew.

With the help of friend Neil Smith, the De Wit's came to possess seeds from a new uncultivated chilli from Trinidad called the Butch T. Trinidad Scorpion . Harvesting their first batch in early 2011, they sent samples to a laboratory in Melbourne for a Scoville scale rating (measurement of the level of capsaicin/potency of the chilli). The results showing a Scoville Heat Unit measurement of 1 463 700 units, the De Wits were sitting on what would become the new Guinness World Records recognised Hottest Chilli in the World.

Now one of Australia's premier chilli growers and sellers, The Chilli Factor is hosting . From 7pm on Saturday the 24th of May at the Fitzroy Hotel in Windsor chilli fanatics will be heading down to see just how much sweat and tears have to be shed before even the most seasoned chilli eater is begging for a glass of cold milk.

With over 80 contestants already registered to battle for the trophy, there is no easy path to victory. The competition includes a cash prize for the hottest home grown chilli, a chilli pie tasting contest and the coveted raw chilli eating contest. There is a perpetual trophy where the winner's names will be engraved and, paying respect to the motherland of all chilli, a competition for the 'Best Dressed Mexican'.

Having experienced firsthand what it is like to bite into a raw Butch T. Scorpion I can attest to the bravado of these Chilli Challengers. Beyond any accidental eating of too much hot sauce, this is a full assault on the body; gasping for air while sweat runs rivers down every part of your body, and a realisation that you have swallowed the fruit before being shown its true power. The first Alien film comes to mind as a dull burn turns to full blown what have I done to myself, the chilli seemingly burning an escape route straight out through the front of your stomach. Panic takes hold and you run to the fridge clutching for the first dairy product you see, and a good hour or so recovering on the couch as your work your way through half a litre of sour cream wondering how this could have ever come up as a good idea.

Not being one of the 80 contenders for the title, I will be going along to pay my respects to those brave souls putting their sense of taste in the hands of the De Wits.

!date 24/05/2014 -- 24/05/2014
217418 - 2023-06-16 07:34:46


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