An annual chili pepper festival, complete with a chili-eating contest, kicked off Monday in Hunan province, southern China.
To get an idea of how big Hunan is on chilies, perhaps a Chinese saying offers the best insight: “Guizhou people like spiciness, Sichuan people don’t fear spiciness, Hunan people fear there’s no spiciness.”
Living up to its reputation, Hunan has prepared a scorching challenge of eating 50 Tabasco chili peppers. Ten people can sign up for the challenge every day until the end of August.
This photo taken on July 8, 2018 shows a contestant taking part in a chilli pepper eating competition in Ningxiang in China's central Hunan province. (AFP-Yonhap)
A chilli pepper-eating competition in Ningxiang in China's central Hunan province. (AFP-Yonhap)
Being the first day of the festival on July 9, the chili-eating contest allowed more than 10 contestants. (AFP-Yonhap)
The Tabasco chili pepper, with a rating of 30,000-50,000 Scoville Heat Units, is reportedly much stronger than South Korea's cheongyang red pepper. (AFP-Yonhap)
On the first day of the festival, the winner was a local boy, Tang Shuaihui, who cleared his plate of 50 Tabasco chilies in just 68 seconds, according to an Agence France-Presse report.
The Tabasco pepper is somewhere between a jalapeno and a habanero on the Scoville Heat Scale, which measures the piquancy of chilies based on capsaicin concentration. The Tabasco chili pepper, with a rating of 30,000-50,000 Scoville Heat Units, is reportedly much stronger than South Korea’s cheongyang red pepper (10,000 Scoville Heat Units).
While munching the Tabasco pepper, the contestants sat in a pool of water filled with peppers, but these peppers were of a far weaker variety to avoid irritating participants’ skin.
Photos by AFP
Written by Lim Jeong-yeo (firstname.lastname@example.org)