My popular bookazine on chile peppers and fiery foods will be on the newsstands of all the big box stores for another month, but for convenience it is now available for ordering single copies internationally, or a 9-issue subscription to Popular Plates, the real name of the magazine. There are many foods covered in the single-subject ongoing series, like grilling, barbecue, pizza, and my forthcoming title in October, Popular Plates Soups & Stews.
To order your copy both domestically and internationally, go to the Popular Plates website, here.
Whenever someone tries to lay claim to the biggest, best, or most intense record for pretty much anything, they run the risk of being challenged.
When the subject is the world's hottest pepper, the stakes are high, both monetarily and in terms of publicity. If you've ever dealt with chileheads, they can be every bit as fanatical and obsessed about their chosen passion as the worst lovesick stalker.
That being said, it's not surprising that a storm of controversy currently surrounds several chile growers who are vying for the "world's hottest chile pepper" title. Read this article on Popsci for more about the conflagration, what happens when you ask a beer company to rule about peppers, and an answer to the question, "can eating them kill you?"
Sunbelt Shows, Inc., owner of the Fiery Foods & Barbecue SuperSite, has announced the launch of Dave DeWitt's Chile Podcasts, a weekly audio show that features interviews with the top leaders and characters in the fiery foods and barbecue industries. The theme of the first series of three podcasts is "SuperHot" and features interviews with James Beck of EatMoreHeat.com, famous for his tortured consumption of the Apocalypse Burger and others; Dave Hirschkop of Dave's Gourmet, manufacturer of Dave's Insanity Sauce; and chemical engineer Marlin Bensinger, the world's foremost expert on capsaicin. The first three interviews have been recorded and are in post-production.
"These first Chile Podcasts give everyone a chance to listen to people they've only read about," said DeWitt, "and get an insider's view of what's going on behind the scenes in the world of superhot peppers and products." Producing the Chile Podcasts is David Wolf of America Markets Media in Albuquerque, who said that the first one will be posted "very soon." Illustrated transcripts of all the podcasts will also be posted.
Hot spot EatMoreHeat.com is using the wave of the future to broadcast the Fiery Foods Show LIVE! Check out their Stickam live broadcast of the show floor, and tune in for interviews with exhibitors, their products, and other special guests. The show starts this morning at 10 AM with Pope of Peppers Dave DeWitt – don’t miss it! During the live broadcast, they’ll also be giving away free one-year subscriptions to Burn! Magazine. The winners will be selected by each segment guest and will be awarded to the viewer that asks the best question during their segment. If you’d like to submit a question, register for a free account at Stickam.
AND THIS JUST IN: Saturday's live feed brought in 20,000 viewers! Check out what it's all about here, or learn more about today's schedule from Eat More Heat!
Last week, a judge at the Fiery Foods Challenge, a spicy food contest held in conjunction with Texas-based festival, ZestFest 2011, was hospitalized after sampling an entry. The blind entry in the hot sauce category was described as a “nightmare in a bottle” by another of the contest judges. Speculators have suggested the sauce may have contained the extract capsaicin, the chemical that gives chile peppers their heat.
“Our best wishes for a swift recovery go out to the judge injured in the Fiery Foods Challenge this week,” said Dave DeWitt, owner and producer of the Fiery Foods and Barbecue Show in Albuquerque, New Mexico. “Safety is the most important thing when testing fiery foods. Chemical additives such as capsaicin only increase the necessity for proper precautions.”
“At the Fiery Foods Show, exhibitors are required to have warning signage at their booths and to taste only on the end of toothpicks,” said DeWitt.
In addition to producing the Fiery Foods Show—the largest hot foods trade show in the country, DeWitt also hosts the annual Scovie Awards, a contest that judges the best food products in the hot foods industry. Judges who participate in the superhot category of the Scovies (including products containing the capsaicin extract) are required to sign a waiver before the contest and to test products separately, overseen at all times by a designated monitor.
Judges at the Scovies are provided with several different, thick coolants, such as yogurt and ice cream—the same cooling agents that members of the public should use when tasting fiery foods. Dairy and alcohol products are particularly effective in counteracting the heat associated with chile peppers; capsaicin dissolves in the fats contained in dairy. Water is a relatively useless cooling agent. Other methods used to combat the heat from peppers include tasting small samples in order to gauge heat levels, and building a tolerance to heat over time before tackling superhots.
With the proper precautions, the general public can avoid overexposure to the “fire” in fiery foods and enjoy the spice of life.
Check out this video from Dave DeWitt on how to avoid chile pepper burnout!