If you didn’t manage to make it out to the NYC Hot Sauce Expo, I’m sorry to say that you TRULY missed out on the best time ever. I’m usually skeptical going into festivals of this scale re: how well they’ll be executed, but I had such a great time at yesterday’s session that I don’t think I can really put my finger on any flaws. Of course, I was lucky enough to be hooked up with a VIP ticket, meaning I got to eat free tacos and drink free booze, but those things aside, the programming was pretty magical, even from a non-VIP standpoint.
I arrived just as the chihuahua beauty pageant was beginning, and yes, it was the cutest thing of all time. I hadn’t witnessed some of the earlier eating challenges, which I guess got pretty gross as one would expect, so this seemed to offer a breath of fresh, non-nausea-inducing air for festival goers. There were some strong contenders (my favorite was the one wearing a blonde wig and cowboy hat), but ultimately the winners were the v. adorable pair Yeyush & Renzo.
Following that cuteness overload, I headed outside to watch people attempt to eat ghost peppers. There is something oddly satisfying about watching others subject themselves to completely avoidable torture, you guys, and I hope you will enjoy living vicariously through the photos below.
(The moment of pepper fueled regret.)
Of course, that was amateur hour compared to the Carolina Reaper eating challenge, during which a group of contestants duked it out to consume a fuck ton of peppers while trying not to puke and/or die. Losing doesn’t ever feel great, but I imagine it must be a thousand times worse when your stomach is full of partially masticated lava. Fortunately I wouldn’t know, because I just happily spectated from the sidelines like a true sicko!
There comes a certain point where your taste buds get blown out, but there was a milk and whipped cream station where you could recharge your mouth if needed. I’m telling you, they should have called this Best Photo Ops of All Time Expo instead.
Anyway, feel free to peruse all of the spicy insanity below, and let this be a lesson to you – the NYC Hot Sauce Expo is not one to be missed, so don’t sleep on tickets to next year’s event!