The “Carolina Reaper” hot pepper allegedly hospitalized a man who ate it as part of a contest in mid-April – and the man who grew it is now defending the super-spicy fruit.
“We have sold, in the past couple of years or so, over half a million Carolina reapers and I have never had any knowledge or any complaint of anyone having to be hospitalized,” said Salvatore Genovese, the pepper’s grower. “It's not really designed to... just plonk it in your mouth and eat it… I would never do that and I wouldn't recommend it.”
But a 34-year-old man ate the pepper whole at a chili-eating contest in upstate New York.
The man, who was diagnosed with reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome – it’s a temporary condition that’s caused by a narrowing of the blood vessels bringing in blood. After eating the pepper, the unidentified man developed intense neck and head pain that lasted several seconds at a time. He identified the pain as “thunderclap” headaches and said the feeling spread from his back to his head repeatedly.
The medical report stated that this was the first time a person had been hospitalized there for eating a pepper, but Shahina Waseem – known as Britain’s “Chili Queen” – said that eating the Carolina Reaper makes her feel like she’s dying for several minutes, as well.
“You start from mild to the hottest chilies, you go through 13 or 14 rounds, and then you end up with the Carolina Reaper and then it does get you,” said Waseem. “For me the pain would last an hour or two hours max. I have heard of people suffering afterwards — for me it's not so bad afterwards, but during the competition I feel like I'm dying.”
What Do You Think?
Would you eat a Carolina Reaper, or have you had something similar in the past? I’d love to hear your hot pepper stories, so please share them on my