A fearless local press photographer nearly bit off more than he could chew when he took on the challenge of eating the world’s hottest chilli.
The town of Grantham made headlines across the globe on 1 April after a chilli pepper 200 times hotter than a jalapeno was grown there.
Despite the timing, the story definitely wasn’t an April Fool’s joke, and last week the Grantham Journal sent photographer Toby Roberts to find out for himself.
A nervous Toby, with video camera focused on him, gobbled up the chilli – but within 30 seconds of swallowing it he was paying a heavy price.
First his heart began to race, and he lost the ability to speak.
Then his eyes began to water, he broke out in a sweat and he got the shakes.
Said Toby: “I was a millisecond away from puking. But I knew if I did it would be a YouTube hit in no time.
“There was a point where I started to panic because I didn’t know when it was going to stop getting worse.”
The Grantham Infinity Chilli was grown by Fire Foods, a family business run from a house in Grantham.
It registers 1,067,286 on the Scoville Scale used to measure peppers. The previous record was 1,041,427 – more than 200 times hotter than a jalapeno.
This week Grantham could enter the record books again as a local Indian restaurant attempts to make the world’s hottest curry using extracts from the Infinity chilli.
Journal editor Tim Robinson is promising that the Johnston Press-owned title will be on hand to provide full coverage of the, er, fallout from the event.