Things that are hot
So there’s this burger joint in Brighton called Burger Off (see, there’s your first hint this isn’t going to be the feelgood story of the day). One of the condiments they offer is an imported hot sauce. A very fucking hot imported hot sauce.
Like, on the Scoville scale of food hotness, Tabasco peppers are between 30,000 to 50,000 heat units, ghost chilis between 855,000 to 1,463,700 heat units, police pepper spray between 500,000 and 5 million heat units and this shit somewhere between seven and nine million units.
Bit of a fake, the Scoville scale. It relies on humans’ subjective ability to taste hotness, and we all know the more you sample, the less you taste the stuff. Also, in their final forms, all these things are diluted to different strengths. Nonetheless, we can safely say Mr Gambardella of Burger Off is serving a very fucking hot sauce.
Incidentally, I don’t know what kind of ‘burgers’ those are up there, but it’s the picture that went along with the Daily Mail article. Looks like a spleen burger or something. I think I’d need a shot of the hot stuff to take a bite of that.
Anyhoo, Mr Gambardella got sick of customers who sampled his sauce and said, “pff! That’s not so hot.” So he now offers a deadly XXX burger to those over eighteen willing to sign a (really illiterate — wonder if it would hold up in court) disclaimer. This burger routinely sends people to the hospital:
One guy came in and he was just a little bit cocky and when he left he was admitted to hospital because prior to eating the burger he had a stomach ulcer and we believe it perforated his bowel. He wasn’t in a good way but he pulled through.
And these two reporters from the Brighton Argus:
Mr Barratt took a bite and minutes later suffered severe stomach pains which increased. He lost the feeling in his hands, his legs were shaking and his eyes rolled back in his head.
And within two hours Mr Hendy was suffering similar problems, following his colleague to hospital.
Mr Barratt said: “It was hard to walk. I needed to drink milk to neutralise the burning, which was hard because I was hyperventilating so much my hands had seized up.”
Mr Hendy said: “I was in so much pain I was telling people I felt like I was dying.”
Why do people do this? I like a drop of Sriracha on my sammich, but I stop short of foods that come with frightening health warnings in pidgin legalese.
My mother once challenged a neighbor to a hot pepper eating contest. All’s I remember is the two of them sitting around the kitchen table after all the peppers were gone, taking swigs of the pepper water out of the jar with tears streaming down their faces. It’s a sickness, I tell you.
But my mama was from Texas.