The Chili Challenge approaches - any tips?

Last year, I participated in an event known as the “Chili Challenge.” It involved eating a bowl of chili for lunch each day for four days with the chili becoming progressively hotter. The first and second days were really easy (about like I usually like my chili anyways.) The third day’s batch was so hot I thought I’d be sick. After the fourth day’s chili, I was sick.

Proving that I’m a slow learner, I’ve signed up to participate in this year’s Chili Challenge. What can I do to protect myself from the heat?

Here are the rules:
[li]I must eat 1 bowl of chili per day.[/li][li]I cannot add anything to the chili.[/li][li]I can drink only water while eating the chili.[/li][/ul]

Any tips or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Get yourself used to eating hot foods. Can you have crackers with the chili? That helps some. But I’ve never yet encountered a bowl of red that was too hot for me. But I have asbestos tastebuds and a stainless steel stomach. I’m assuming these are home-made chilis, because nobody makes a commercial chili that is remotely hot.

More information on the challenge, if you please. It sounds interesting.

I wish I had time to build up a tolerance. I should have started this thread sooner, because the first day is today. I expect to breeze through today and tomorrow like last year.

The Chili Challenge is conducted by my university (during fire prevention week; he he he) in one of the dining halls. You go into a room where your name is checked off a list of those who registered and serve yourself a bowl of chili out of one of the pots in the back (one with meat, one vegetarian.) You can also get a glass of water as you’re getting your chili. Each table has a pitcher of ice water on it. You sit down, eat your chili and show the check in folks your bowl on the way out (at which point they put a check by your name as having eaten your bowl for the day.)

You’re not allowed to eat anything else while eating the chili, so crackers are out.

Well that’s not my idea of fun. :eek:
Now if you were to tell the hot person of your chosen sex that you need to practice for this challenge by nibbling chili off their naked bodies…

P.S. If you’re using the same spices as with curries, then milk helps and water doesn’t. (Something to do with lipid fats, I believe).

Mine either to be honest. Like I said, I’m a slow learner. Also, in the long run, I enjoyed the bragging rights from having made it through (and a fairly cool t-shirt stating as much) more than I disliked the experience. (Also (I think) a large part of why I was sick was that I overate after the last bowl last year trying to get the taste out of my mouth.)

If only the university provided a hotty to practice on…

Yeah. The water is really more a bane than a boon during the challenge. Unfortunately I get thirsty easily and it’s all that’s provided/allowed.

For bowls 3 and 4, try swallowing them without chewing. Just straight down the gullet with as little contact with your tongue as possible, and as little water as possible. Let the first mouthful shield you from the rest. Is this chili beaned or beanless? If beaned, you could smear some smashed beans over your tongue and then swallow a couple of mouthfuls. Repeat until done.

Good plan. I forget if there are beans or not (though I will shortly be able to answer that question for the first bowl at least.)

Being a total novice last year didn’t help. I took a long time to eat the last two bowls and (if memory serves) I went through an entire pitcher of water on the 4th (another likely contributing factor to my discomfort afterwards.)

All right, the first lunch is over.

The chili was good and the challenge was negligible (as expected.) I’m a little worried since the first day’s chili was hotter than I remember it last year, but that may just be my nerves talking. So far, so good.

I don’t know if it would help or not, but if you think part of what made you sick was overeating trying to get the taste out of your mouth, don’t eat so much (duh!) but suck on ice cubes, or eat a popsicle (or an ice cream cone) to try to numb your taste buds.

You could also try numbing the taste buds before you eat the chili.

Coat the inside of your mouth and tongue with candle wax, then the chili will slide right down without interacting with your mucous membranes at all!

Caution: May cause hallucinations and/or vision quests.

Or chew up a couple of Advil first. You won’t be able to taste ANYTHING but nasty bitter Advil for at least two days.

Does Ora-gel work on tongues? A light coating just before eating might numb your tastebuds just enough.

As ahs been previously mentioned, have a nice cold glass of milk waiting for you on the outside. This should get rid of the taste in your mouth, so you won’t need to overeat to clear the taste. You still have to tough it out as far as getting the chilli down goes.

Eat a few bites of yogurt (before entering the dining hall, of course).

Plain yogurt – nothing in it. This will temporarily coat your mouth, and it will coat your stomach during the event. Should make the whole event more bearable.

And apply some Preparation H the following morning. Ounce of prevention, you know. :wink:

Good grief! :smack:

Young people today! :rolleyes:

The whole point of University is that you find your own hottie!!!

(Err, and pass your exams :o )

I notice you’re in Southern California. Have you ever been to Chili My Soul ? They are in Encino, (just North of LA)
They consistently surprise the most snobbish of chili connoisseurs.

Sorry if this plug is not allowed (I’m not affiliated), but I just know SoCal chili lovers would love this place. I don’t go as often as I should.

Road trip!

It’s a bit out of my way, but for good chili, I’m willing to drive a piece. Any recommendations? They all sound so good.

That’s the thing. They are all good. So it help if you live close :slight_smile: . But if you’re a hot-head, I’d try and find when they’re serving the Demon chili. I won’t attempt it, but have heard raves from people who think napalm is a dessert topping. (plus it tastes good! -heh)

I have a handful of faves, but usually like the hotness around 6-7. Call me if you come out. Mini-Chili-Dope-fest!