How hot is too hot?

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Wall of Sauce at Heaven on 7th in Chicago

There are sauces that are hot and full of flavor and there are sauces that so hot they are just full of hatred. I’ve tasted some mighty hot sauces in my day but there comes a point when you’ve got to put your pride aside and try to enjoy some flavor rather than just pure heat.

My latest encounter with heat was with Hattie B’s “Shut the cluck up” hot chicken. It was full of flavor but the heat was almost unbearable potentially ruining the meal. There’s a fine line between heat and taste. You want to tiptoe the line as to know cause hiccups or a vomit reflex. But you want enough heat to induce sweating and a slight watering of the eyes.

Here are my top hottest things ever that have left a scar on my memory, in no particular order.

  • Eating a Tabasco pepper from the bottle at Po’Folks restaurant when I was a kid, first time ever trying anything hot. I was hooked!
  • Hattie B’s Chicken, it might have been a while since I ate something this hot so I must have lost some of the tolerance
  • Grilled Red Jalapeno at a family cookout. I can’t remember if it was a Jalapeno or Habanero, but I just picked it up and at it. I ate the whole thing at once and it really hurt my face and body.
  • First taste of viscous viper hot sauce. I was eating at a restaurant in Hardy Arkansas and put too much on my food.
  • Braveheart wings from Wild Wing Cafe in Charleston, SC. I ordered six of them and ate them all, and regretted it after the first bite. The next day was even worse.
  • Bushido’s level 10 Sushi roll. I had to sign a release form.

If we are being honest, the whole point of heating hot food is so you don’t have to share with your family.