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Ghost Pepper Challenges

Posted by: Lois Manno

 

Before you enter a Ghost Pepper food challenge, bear in mind: the heat doesn’t stop with your mouth or your last bite. Almost two weeks ago, a guy in Hermosa Beach, California found that out the hard way when he took the Habanero Sam’s Burrito Challenge at Amigos Tacos.

The victim, er, challenger, was a guy named John. He came in, signed the restaurant’s legal waiver for the challenge, and got to munching on the burrito. It wasn’t large in size, but it packed a punch of pure, concentrated evil. Not normal, James-Bond-villain-type evil, but more of a Hannibal Lector type. The sort that you know deep down is bad, but its surface charm draws you in and doesn’t let up for two sequels.

Find out what happened to poor John on the Burn! Blog here. We want to hear your Ghost stories too!


A red jalapeño podQ: I heard about some guy who has developed a jalapeño pepper with no heat. Why would anybody do that?

A: Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? Some manufacturers of hot products prefer to use heatless chile varieties and add heat later during processing through the addition of concentrated capsaicin oleoresin. This provides a measurable, more consistent heat level throughout the product run.

Read more on the Burn! Blog here.

 

 


 

Over the July 4th weekend, a new world's record for the biggest burger was set, featuring 777 pounds of beefy fun. We congratulate the folks at Juicy’s for the record, with one caveat: while it may have passed muster (or mustard!) by California standards, and it may have been a whopper according to the poofs at Guinness, here in New Mexico we all know that a real hamburger has green chile slathered across the patty! Read all about the World's Largest Commercially Available Hamburger on the Burn! Blog.


Cool Down on the Fourth with A Firecracker

Posted by: Lois Manno

Tagged in: recipe , new content , holidays , beverages , alcohol

 

Riazul FirecrackerThis drink looks too good to be legal...but it is, proving that epic July 4th fireworks can be served up in a glass as well as in the sky. Wow your Fourth of July barbecue guests with the Riazul Firecracker. This spicy cocktail, infused with Riazul Premium Silver, was concocted by Jorge Guzman, master mixologist and owner of Ofrenda, the new cantina-themed hot spot in Manhattan's West Village. Check out the recipe on the Burn! Blog here.

 

 


Call for Entries, 2012 Scovie Awards!

Posted by: Lois Manno

Tagged in: fiery foods , contest

 

Scovie Logo

The 2012 Scovie Awards Competition is accepting entries.  Now in its 16th year, the Scovie Awards is the world's largest professional competition for fiery foods and BBQ products.

Produced by Dave DeWitt's Sunbelt Shows—producers of the National Fiery Foods & BBQ Show—the Scovies give manufacturers the chance to see how their products stand up to the competition. A Scovie win gives a company the opportunity to promote their product as a top performer, and catches the attention of store buyers who are planning their inventory orders.

Scovie winners benefit from extensive exposure on Sunbelt's multiple websites and blogs, and receive banners they can use to promote their winning products at food shows. Whether you have a new company just putting your first product on the market, or you are an established company with a new product line, the Scovie Awards competition is the place to prove that your product is the best!

Judging the ScoviesAs an additional benefit of entering the Scovie Awards competition, companies can request an Analysis Report of their entries. The report will include a breakdown of the judging sheets, including high and low scores, average scores by judging criteria, full comments and a professional review of the product’s packaging.

Read more about the Scovie Awards and enter your products for the 2012 competition here.



burgers smoking on a grill
Grilling authority Chef Mike Stines shares his recommendations about using wood chips with a gas grill. Read all about it on the Burn! Blog here.


 

Naga Viper, Courtesy of Gerald FowlerWhenever someone tries to lay claim to the biggest, best, or most intense record for pretty much anything, they run the risk of being challenged.

When the subject is the world's hottest pepper, the stakes are high, both monetarily and in terms of publicity. If you've ever dealt with chileheads, they can be every bit as fanatical and obsessed about their chosen passion as the worst lovesick stalker.

That being said, it's not surprising that a storm of controversy currently surrounds several chile growers who are vying for the "world's hottest chile pepper" title. Read this article on Popsci for more about the conflagration, what happens when you ask a beer company to rule about peppers, and an answer to the question, "can eating them kill you?"


A study in the journal Cancer Research appears to link capsaicin, a component of chili peppers, to skin cancer. This is a misinterpretation of the data, according to SuperSite Publisher Dave DeWitt, international authority on chili peppers and author of more than forty books about peppers, including The Healing Powers of Peppers. The study was focused specifically on the topical application of capsaicin, not on chili peppers as food. To quote the study itself, “capsaicin alone does not act as a carcinogen.”

Toxic Chemicals Caused Tumors, Not Capsaicin

Researchers at The Hormel Institute, University of Minnesota, treated the skin of mice with a mixture of TPA and DMBA, two powerful and highly toxic tumor-producing chemicals. The mice were virtually guaranteed to develop skin cancer. Some were treated with a mixture of the chemicals plus capsaicin, and some were treated with capsaicin only.

While study results indicated that combining capsaicin with the chemicals “might promote cancer cell survival,” the report clearly stated that the control group of mice treated only with capsaicin “…did not induce any skin tumors…” In addition, the study repeatedly cited other research studies in which the anti-cancer properties of capsaicin were solidly demonstrated. A link to the full article can be found here.


Ghost Face Killah Beer

Why brew a beer so hot that it melts taste buds and brings tears to drinkers’ eyes? To do something different. In a world full of pilsners, pale ales and porters, thinking a little outside of the box keeps things exciting at Twisted Pine Brewery. “Ghost Face Killah” ghost chile beer packs the heat of six different chiles, including anaheim (New Mexican), fresno, jalapeño, serrano, habanero and the infamous ghost chile (Bhut Jolokia). The beer will be released at the Snowmass Chili and Beer Festival, June 4-5.

At a staggering 1,000,000 Scoville heat units, the ghost chile pepper is twice as hot as the nearest Red Savina pepper.  This has earned the Bhut Jolokia certification as the hottest chile pepper in the world by the Guiness World Records.

Based in Boulder, Colorado, Twisted Pine Brewing Company has been handcrafting beer since 1995. Read more about their other unique brews here.


May is National Salsa Month!

Posted by: Lois Manno

Tagged in: fiery foods , chile peppers

 

SalsaMay ain't just for barbecue. It just so happens that it's also National Salsa Month. Many of these "official" food celebration months exist, and you can find exhaustive lists online, but some seem to be more authentic than others...the most "official" began as presidential proclamations or were created by Congress. More sketchy designations seem to have originated from well-timed press releases that somehow became popularly accepted. National Salsa Month appears on the USDA's website, so I guess that makes it official from a government point of view. According to The Teacher's Calendar, National Salsa Month was established to recognize salsa as America's Favorite Condiment. Picante Sauce was invented in 1947 by David Pace of Texas company Pace Foods. Cinco de Mayo, another important May holiday, is a perfect excuse to eat salsa...anybody's salsa! Here's our take on Making Traditional Salsas from Scratch.


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