What is it like eating one of the hottest sauces in the world?

It’s not great.

This particular sauce (which was not, and I repeat, was not Jersey Girl brand since our sauce is meant to taste great and not set you ablaze) was 750,000 Scoville units. For comparison, a single jalapeno hovers around 5,000. I’m not entirely clear on how the math works out, but I guess if you want to try shoving 150 jalapenos down your throat, you’ll have a basic idea of how hot this one teaspoonful of sauce was.

So, if you’re reading this, you’re definitely something of a Hot Head, right? Let’s go into detail. The first thing you notice is that familiar tingling on your tongue, that little note that says, “I’m here, and you’re in for a time.” At the same time, there was—for the 10 seconds before the horrendous pain began—the delightful taste of smoked chipotle peppers. Then there was just the taste of heat.

Like some gruesome transformation in a Cronenberg film, my tongue transformed from tingly to torturous, and the rest of my mouth followed. It was that kind of spicy where you have to open your mouth as wide as you can like an uncomfortably sweaty baleen whale filter feeding.

It didn’t help.

At this point, this was in college, so a bunch of people from different dorm rooms had piled in, filming and laughing at my agony. In retrospect, yeah, super funny—also, if you’re the pretentious type, an apt commentary on the current state of internet culture of whatever. I don’t know symbolism. I write about hot sauce. 

Anyway, I was sitting on the floor staring at a wall trying to focus on a paint spot instead of the feeling of what I could only assume were my teeth disintegrating.

I tried milk. Nothing.

I tried bread. It tasted like glowing embers.

I thought, this is it. This is how I go out, on the floor of a dorm room, drenched in sweat from eating a single spoonful of hot sauce. 

But then—and yes, it’s very anticlimactic—it ended. The heat subsided almost immediately, and all that remains of the incident is a ten second video on my college roommate’s laptop of me sitting on a couch eating a rolled-up slice of bread with both hands like a racoon eating trash from a dumpster.


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