This Super-Spicy Chip Is for Daredevils Only


Here’s one for your list of foods you may not be in a hurry to try: a tortilla chip so spicy it will make you gasp, cough, weep and beg for mercy (or water or milk, honey, yogurt, ice cream … anything that might help!).

Gourmet tortilla chip maker Paqui is releasing what it’s calling “The World’s Hottest Chip.” The chip (which hits stores for a limited time starting in October, selling for $4.99) is made with a chile pepper known as the “Carolina Reaper,” which happens to hold the Guinness World Record for the world’s hottest chile, rating at an average of 1,569,300 Scoville Heat Units. (For comparison, your basic jalapeno pepper rates only a mere 2,500 to 5,000 Scoville Heat Units.)

Note the use of the singular — chip, not chips. That’s because the crazy-spicy chip comes one per coffin-shaped, warning-emblazoned package, and individually wrapped within that as well. Judging from the video entries into Paqui’s “One Chip Challenge,” which invites adventurous snackers to share footage or photos of themselves eating the ultra-hot chip on social media, one chip is apparently all you need to feel a serious — and, from the looks of it, highly unpleasant — burn.

Contest participants get a free bag of chips and a shot at the grand prize — a year’s supply of Paqui chips and a GoPro Hero4 Silver camcorder — but one wonders if it’s worth it.

Sample reactions:

“It’s so hot. … This is so mean. … I don’t think it’s going to be OK.”

“It’s like in the back of my face and it’s just getting progressively hotter … burning my tongue … and I’m shaking visibly. … I feel like the inside of my face is starting to leak. … There are the full-body sweats. … Breathing hurts. … I might cry. …”

“Those are authentic tears. I can barely talk. I’m starting to get a bit of numbness in my hands. … My hands are actually numb, tingling a little bit. Runny nose … I’m not looking forward to how this is going to feel later on.”

Related Links:

Just the Facts: Chiles

Top 5 Hot and Spicy Dishes in America

Hot, Hot, Hot: Spicy Condiments from Around the World

Photo courtesy of @PaquiTortillas