XXX Hot CHili Burger - ©

The Crying Game – Take IV: XXX Burger

They’re at it again! Another nutty, hot pepper-lovin’ Brit pub owner has unveiled a supercharged burger he claims – with pride – is Britain’s spiciest. He also claims it has sent five people to hospital! And he’s still selling it. And people are apparently still buying it. Who’s crazier? The cooks or the diners?

XXX Burger Challengers - © (unnamed) young male XXX Burger Challenge-takers, at Burger Off!, Hove.
They’re either the bravest
or the craziest guys in the UK…

According to The Daily Mail newspaper, the joint, in Hove, Sussex, near Brighton, is named – appropriately enough – Burger Off! and its headline menu item is called the XXX Hot Chili Burger. It reportedly dials in at over 900,000 Scoville units on the Universal Hot Pepper Devastation scale – almost as hot as pure Naga Bhut Jolokia, or Ghost Pepper, the world’s hottest naturally-occurring pepper. Burger Off!’s hot sauce is based on the almost equally fiery Piri Piri Pepper.

You can only get one if you’re over the age of 18 and willing to sign a waiver saying you accept full responsibility for any consequences of eating the thermonuclear burger and absolve the restaurant, its owners and its staff form any liability proceeding therefrom.

Restaurant owner Nick Gambardella says only 59 of the first 3,000 diners who dared to order the XXX actually made it through the whole thing.

What’s the point?

It seems that the hot pepper craze – not only in the UK, but worldwide – is solely an attention-getter. As such, it signals a dangerous escalation of the desperation of entrepreneurs in the overcrowded Burger Sector of the Restaurant Spectruum. The difference is, this extreme stunt actually hurts people!

As I said in a recent post, do we really need even-hotter peppers? The fact that burger Off!’s XXX has sent people to hospital with everything from bowel perforations to anaphylactic shock – which can kill you! – seems to support my ‘no’ hypothesis.

The XXX has also, reportedly, made people do crazy things, right there in the restaurant – like stripping naked in a vain attempt to cool off, screaming for mercy, punching out windows and, of course, vomiting. Great fun! Nevertheless, Gambardella says his new burger sensation is a runaway hit with a certain dining demographic – young males between 18 and 25.

The moral of this story:

  • Apparently, peer pressure + testosterone = 900,000 Scoville units…

~ Maggie J.