Americans consume somewhere near 4 billion tacos every year. Not surprising because tacos are one of the greatest foods on the planet.
One of the best things about tacos is their customizability. No matter your mood, you can always find — or create — a taco that’s just right for the moment. For lots of people, that mood is a spicy one. Plenty of people out there love a little heat with their tacos, but some are much braver than others. And a few brave souls travel beyond what’s reasonable or recommended.
One place recently got some national attention over a taco challenge that has us sweating just thinking about it. Let’s pop over to Gringo’s Tacos in NYC to see what all the fuss is about.
The taqueria features a reaper taco challenge. Now, as peppers go, the Carolina Reaper pepper is the hottest in the world, surpassing 1.5 million Scoville Units. As a comparative measure, jalapeno peppers are between 5,000 and 10,000 Scoville Units. Chef and co-owner Rick Truocchio says everything in the reaper challenge tacos is beyond 50,000 Scoville Units. Anyhow, back to the challenge.
“Reaper Taco: Reaper pepper dusted tortilla, 6 spicy pepper jelly, super hot fried chicken, ghost pepper hot sauce, Gringos X-Rated hot sauce, 357 Magnum hot sauce, diced habanero, diced jalapeño & flaming hot Cheetos dust,” their Instagram says, listing what goes into preparing the two tacos in challenge.
Hungry yet? Before even beginning the challenge, participants are required to sign a waiver. Off to a great start already. Secondly, they say 16% of what you pay for a product goes into the packaging, and the reaper challenge has packaging with a little foreshadowing: the tacos are served in a coffin.
The challenge itself has a couple of rules. You must finish the two tacos in under five minutes. You’re also not allowed to drink liquids for at least three minutes. If you’re able to complete the challenge (spoiler alert: most are not), you’re rewarded with a t-shirt, a plaque that declares your taco housing bravery, a picture on the wall at Gringo’s Tacos, and, most importantly, bragging rights that most people don’t have.
Do you think you have what it takes to handle the heat?