Man Sets New Record for Eating World’s Hottest Pepper

Gregory Foster took down three Carolina Reapers in a mere 8.72 seconds.

June 08, 2022

Photo by: Photo courtesy of Gregory Foster

Photo courtesy of Gregory Foster

There are two types of people in this world: those who would avoid eating a Carolina Reaper chili pepper, known as the world’s hottest pepper, at all costs, and those who are game to try it. And then there’s Gregory Foster, who just broke a Guinness World Record by scarfing down three of the mind-blowingly hot peppers in a mere 8.72 seconds like it was no big deal, after already having eaten three of them.

“I guess I should share now the cat is outta the bag. New Guinness World Record. #2,” Foster posted to the Instagram page for his hot-sauce company, Inferno Farms, on Wednesday, alongside a video of him eating California Reaper chili peppers in record time.

Yes, he had to chew, and no, he didn’t get cramps, he added in the comments.

Foster’s record-breaking chili chomp went down (without an apparent struggle) on Saturday, December 11, 2021, at the Seaport Shopping Center in San Diego, as shoppers wandered by. It was these folks who were tapped as “independent witnesses” to verify Foster’s record.

Remarkably, Foster actually ate six Carolina Reaper chilies — which have been described as packing “unrelenting, face-melting heat” — in pursuit of his record, breaking that held by Mike Jack of Canada (three peppers in 9.72 seconds), only on his second consecutive attempt.

“The first attempt was disqualified as there was pepper matter in his mouth that had not been swallowed by the conclusion of the attempt,” Guinness reports.

Foster bounced right back and made his second, successful attempt at breaking the record — even though, he told Guinness, he was “already feeling the effects of the first round of peppers consumed.”

To prepare to eat three successive Carolina Reaper peppers, each of which has an average of 1,641,183 Scoville Heat Units (SHU), as compared to 2,500-8,000 SHU for the average jalapeno pepper, Foster said he stuck to his usual diet, consisting of “tons of hot sauce and lots of super-hot chili peppers.”

But, he told Guinness, he did work on his chewing technique. “In practicing for an attempt like this it is more about mechanics and muscle memory, so I time myself eating small sweet peppers to get the chewing and swallowing down to automatic responses,” he said.

Foster, who in 2016 claimed and still holds the world record for consuming the most Carolina Reaper peppers in one minute, says his decades of restaurant work have helped him fine-tune his “flavor awareness” and gardening has fed his fascination with Capsicums. Owning a hot-sauce company (“Heat is heat, but flavor is King!” is its tagline) has allowed him “to live my passion for chilies in every way,” he said.

He has “always loved spicy food,” he told Guinness, and has constantly tried to push his tolerance “to the limit.”

Clearly, some people’s limits are higher than others.

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