Monday, February 18, 2008

fiery foods festival

i've been anticipating the fiery foods festival at the north market for a couple of weeks and it definitely didn't disappoint. we started by sampling products from sauce cartel, urban chefs and montezuma brands. now, i like hot food but don't really go for anything that could be classified as "stupid hot". i favor distinctive flavors with good back of the mouth heat. sauce cartel sells hot sauces that use a variety of fruits for flavor and sweetness that were really excellent. plus, the guys from sauce cartel positively ooze passion and excitement for their product. we picked up some green river sauce, made with pineapple and jalepenos. we also bought some soulicious wing sauce from urban chefs that had a great balance of heat, vinegar and smokiness.
next stop was cajohn's, for whom i've got a deep and abiding love. i sampled "the world's hottest chili" made with the the naga jolokia (scoville rating of 1 million!) i think the chili tasted good, but all i can really recall is my mouth burning for about twenty minutes after i sampled it. taking a break for lunch we had some pho ga from lac viet, a dish that never disappoints. don't miss the house-made chili sauce in the red quirt bottles. after lunch we attended "a chilihead's perspective" given by joe from the hot zone, a blog devoted to hot and spicy food products and chilihead culture. he talked briefly about the naga jolokia (pictured), the scoville rating system, chilihead culture and the online chilihead community. the "wings of fire" hot wing eating challenge was by far the high point of the day. a riveting mix of pain, testosterone, intestinal fortitude, endurance and sheer will, this competition was a real spectacle. presided over by the fine folks a cajohn's, there were two competitions. the rules were thus: contestants could surrender at any time by holding up a "surrender" sign or by taking a drink. for each round they had three wings to eat in 90 seconds, a 2 minute wait until the next round of three wings came out, with each round of wings getting successively hotter. among the hot sauces used for the competitions were: ignite, cojohns, ace, talon, and sauce 10. for the final round, a plate of ten wings covered in sauce 10 was placed in front of remaining contestants. whoever ate the most wings in 3 minutes was crowned the winner. halfway into the competition competitors' eyes were bulging and blinking, sweat glistening on their foreheads. in the last round of the competition, the guy i had pegged for the winner got sauce 10 in his eye and faltered. he did resume eating but the gentleman in the foreground of the picture below ended up winning the first competition.a contestant throwing in the towel:
the second competition was pretty fierce with representatives from the hot zone and sauce cartel competing. unfortunately, gary from sauce cartel dropped out: which left two competitors at the very end to be crowned co-champions. as joe from the hot zone limped away, guzzling a pint of milk, i heard him say "i think i saw god". now that my friends, is some fiery food.

7 comments:

Buddah said...

Enjoyable read Heather. We did a review too at www.tastethefear.com. We have a good group of chileheads there, including the co-winner of the 2nd event...Hudd. Feel free to stop by and make some comments.

~Buddah~

Tamara said...

Heather: this sounds fun! It reminded me a little of the New Mexico chapter in The Year of Eating Dangerously: A Global Adventure in Search of Culinary Extremes by Tom Parker-Bowles (stepson of Prince Charles).

heather said...

this was a really fun event. so much fun, it reminded me of something i should have put on my list of new year's resolutions: attend an international federation of competitive eating event. *please note, i said "attend", not "compete in".
i'm not aware of any ifoce events here in ohio so i may have to travel to check this one off my list.

Buddah said...

Heather, there will be a bigger wing eating event at the Weekend of Fire in Fairfield, Ohio on August 2. The Weekend of Fire event will bring vendors and Chileheads from all over the country and some from Canada. It is to be held at Jungle Jim's Oscar Event Center. The wing eating event was big last year, but should be a bigger event this upcoming year. It is called the Defcon Deathmatch.

Sam said...

Hey Heather, from what I've read you definitely qualify as a chilehead. Please join us at taste the fear, for reviews, hot and spicy discussions, the chilehead perspective, and the occaisional argument...

hudd said...

Nice review Heather. I'm alreadylooking forward to defending my co champion title next year. As buddah said, you should take a look at Taste the Fear and you really should make plans to attend Jungle Jim's Weekend of Fire 2 and the defcon Death Match.

Buddah said...

Heather, we are doing a review for the Sauce Cartel's Green Wave Hot Sauce over at www.tastethefear.com, and would like to know if you would like to join for a multiperson review. I will tell you more if you are interested. Just email me @ albuddah@yahoo.com