There are times in your life when you just have to make a bad decision. At least, what some would call a bad decision. Some (most) of those involve pepper sauce. If it’s spicy, I want it. I once ate so much straight habanero sauce that I basically pepper-sprayed myself. And that my friends, is where the Death Nut Challenge comes in.
Once again, we can thank Richard for this. He sent me a message with a picture of this box, asking if I was in. Seeing as how I always wanted to try the One Chip Challenge, I was most definitely in. What is the One Chip Challenge? I’m gonna turn this one over to Dan Ryckert.
I’m proud to say that I’m a little more Daniel Bryan than Dan Ryckert in my tolerance of spicy things, as was evidenced by the results of the challenge. Charlotte had told us from the beginning that this was a bad idea, and Richard’s sister (who wanted to be there for the debacle) questioned the decision to do it before we were trapped in a tiny plane. We cared not for such dire predictions as we cracked open the box, got out cups of Blue Bell ice cream, and prepared for battle with the hottest nuts ever.
According to the rules, you had to wait 90 seconds after each nut, with no drinks or food of any kind to dampen the spice. I knew it was going to hurt, but I am a total bro when it comes to extreme spice. My favorite wings to eat – with Richard, surprise surprise – were the Wings n’ More Super Caliente wings in College Station. And so we began.
Peanut #1 was ghost pepper with Carolina Reaper powder. Not as spicy as I expected, honestly. In fact, I could see myself snacking on these in front of the TV or while writing.
Peanut #2 was a bit spicier with Scorpion Butch-T peppers and Reaper powder. Still manageable, though I did notice a bit more of a tingle in my mouth. It was my first experience with the Scorpion, and they’re a bit sweet, it seems.
Peanut #3 was Carolina Reaper peppers, Chocolate Bhutia, and more Reaper powder. Also my first time with the Bhutia and I definitely tasted the chocolate. I was also feeling some serious burning on my tongue. Weirdly, the burning was on the sides of my tongue and not the center. It was at this time that Richard’s son started to heckle his dad. He kept up a steady stream of trash talk through the rest of the challenge, which was hilarious because it took my mind off the next nut.
Peanut #4 was when things started to get real. Carolina Reaper Peppers, 7-Pot Douglah, 7-Pot Brain Strain, and the ever-present Carolina Reaper powder. It was at this point that my eyes started to water and Kleenex was delivered. Richard had begun to sweat. It was extremely difficult at this point to resist the siren song of the ice cream before me but I held strong, knowing the end was near.
Peanut #5, AKA The Death Nut, was Pepper-X peppers, Carolina Reaper peppers, Moruga Scorpion peppers, all rolled in what looked like a quarter inch of Reaper powder. I threw it in my mouth and started to chew. Friends, that was the spiciest thing I have ever eaten apart from some homemade pepper sauce from an Ethiopian restaurant. My eyes were watering more, my nose was running, and my face was bright red. Swallowing the thing was difficult and my stomach gave me a grumble of disapproval as I waited the full 90 seconds before digging into my ice cream like it contained the secret to alchemy.
It was almost 30 minutes before my mouth stopped burning. I took an antihistamine in the hopes it would counteract my runny nose, and Richard’s sister freaked out every time my hands got close to my eyes. Before we got to the Mediterranean restaurant, though, I was already thinking of the nuts with fondness and Richard’s son proclaimed me the winner of the Death Nut Challenge.
Interestingly enough, I didn’t have any digestive side effects from this little adventure. I expected to be in a fair amount of pain the next day, but my stomach reacted worse to the habanero pepper-spray incident. I think I’ll do it again with Version 2.0 just so I can Snapchat it. Because that’s exactly the kind of crazy you can expect when it comes to me.