We’ve all seen insane eating challenges, from who can eat the most hot dogs to who can eat a blueberry pie the fastest with no hands. Peppers are a popular challenge too, but how often does eating the hottest peppers in the world earn cold hard cash for charities?


Show Full Text

Mama Fu’s Asian House made just that possible. The Austin, Texas-based restaurant, which specializes in fresh Asian comfort food, released a limited-time menu which revolved around, you guessed it, chili peppers. A community-driven organization, Mama Fu’s wanted to generate awareness of the menu while giving back. The pepper-eating contest allowed five local charities the opportunity to win cash in exchange for eating some of the hottest peppers on the planet.

Each participating charity elected a “champion” to endure five levels of peppers, with each level awarding them a higher dollar amount than before. These peppers were no joke. The contest started with the “innocent” jalapeno, and with seven increasingly spicy peppers in between, ended with the hottest pepper on Earth – the Carolina Reaper (nicknamed “The Devil’s Tonsils”).

The participating charities included Austin Pets Alive!, the Austin Fire Foundation, Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas, Central Texas Food Bank and the Boys & Girls Club of Austin, who all had a chance to win up to $5,000 depending on how many peppers their champion was able to chew and swallow, equaling a total of $25,000 up for grabs.

Four out of the five charities made it ALL THE WAY, with only one champion tossing their cookies (or peppers?) before the final round was over. You can watch a sizzle reel at www.chilisforcharity.com. (Scroll to the bottom!) You will not be disappointed.

More info: chilisforcharity.com

Yes, the black glove is completely necessary

The champions about to begin. They have no idea what they’re getting into

Mama Fu’s chef, James Clark, having too much fun doling out the Carolina Reapers

And now… reaction photos. The champions were very, very brave!

The Carolina Reaper, up close and personal