Can You Handle It? The Five Spiciest, Hottest Foods in the Country
You think you like it hot? As spicy foods go mainstream, Americans' tolerance of Scoville heat units has risen. Still, we don't advise trying these foods unless you have an abnormally maniacal pain threshold:
schmevely/Flickr Dave's Ultimate Insanity Hot Sauce: Be afraid.
1. Dave's Ultimate Insanity Hot Sauce: The self-proclaimed hottest sauce in the universe is hotter than Dave's original Insanity Sauce, which was the only food product ever to be banned from the National Fiery Foods Show. "Be afraid," says Dave's website.
2. Phaal (Brick Lane Curry House, New York City): This most extreme Indian curry is made into a challenge at this Manhattan eatery, where you must offer a "verbal disclaimer not holding us liable for any physical or emotional damage." "P'haal of Fame" winners get a bottle of beer on the house and their picture on the website.
Emily Koh/Serious Eats
3. Gangsta Casserole Murder Style (Spices, Oakland, Calif.): An atomic Sichuan hot pot served with, among other things, pork blood, skin, and stomach. Restaurant critic Jonathan Kauffman was brave enough to try it, recounting how "sweat popped out from parts of my face that never perspire."
4. Dynamite Spicy Challenge (Jitlada, Los Angeles): A choice of spicy mint or curry sauce over frog, chicken, or lobster tail, reports The Atlantic. Restaurant critic Jonathan Gold calls this Thai spot "the spiciest food you can get in LA at the moment."
5. Do Not Eat This Chocolate bar (Lillie Belle, Jacksonville, Ore.): This dark chocolate bar blends chile arbol, aji amarillo, and ghost chiles. The latter is the Guinness Book of World Records' hottest pepper on Earth. Heed the label's warning: "A full metal death chili and chocolate bitch slap."
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