Well, it was only a matter of time before Samyang doubled down on the viral success of the Korean fire noodle challenge and rolled out a “nuclear” (kind of inappropriate when you think about it but whatever) 2x as spicy edition to get the trend going again on YouTube, and it was only a matter of time before I would subject myself to taste bud torture all over again!
In case you missed it, I tested out the instant noodles of death last year, which you can read all about RIGHT HERE. The gist, though, was that the challenge (which no one challenged me to) was much more intense than I had bargained for, and I was left drooling with orange-stained lips and a runny nose.
THIS time I bought the limited-edition updated version for $2.49 when I was at H-Mart in Ktown over the weekend. The back of the package breaks down the SHU scale, and apparently the noodles I tried last year clocked in at around 4000 Scoville heat units, while THIS package promised to pack a punch of about 8000. I looked up what the equivalent hot pepper would be, and it fell somewhere between a jalapeno and a serrano. Considering habaneros are 200,000-350,000, and since I knew more or less the pain I could expect, I went into things feeling unenthusiastic but confident.
A packet o’ Beelzeblood, y’all!
The noodles themselves still look like your standard instant ramen, and it’s still the small package of sauce (which looks like the devil’s blood and tastes similarly) that brings the literal heat.
(Oh wow, what a real cool genius!)
HELP HELP HELP
After the first bite, I immediately got the hiccups. I put the bowl down and considered throwing in the towel right then and there because the hiccups SUCK DOT COM, but I had a sip of milk and, feeling better, I decided to soldier on. And then everything seemed surprisingly easy! The hiccups stopped, and while my mouth was still on fire, the good taste outweighed the pain. It was only when I stopped eating that I really started to feel the effects, aka runny nose, numb mouth, watering eyes, Botox-looking lips, etc.
HOWEVER, this weird thing happened where I feel like eating the noodles temporarily relieved my springtime allergies? Which I guess makes sense since it was clearing out my sinuses, but seriously, I’ve felt INSANE the last few days due to the pollen, and even though my face was on fire, I totally felt better than I had in days for all of an a half hour. (BONUS!)
So last time I said I’d do this all over again, and clearly that held up as true. Would I say the same this time around? Yes, especially to alleviate allergy suffering and whatnot, but 1. not that frequently since one packet of these is around 600 calories (and that’s a lot of pain to inflict for like, a third of my daily food), and 2. it would obviously have to be a situation where I was guaranteed not to see another human being for at least 30-45 minutes after consumption due to all of the things being expelled from my face. See also: stop letting me go to Ktown unsupervised, okay? Great, thanks, bye.
This piece originally appeared on BYT April 11, 2017. Happy Winter Olympics!