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"I don't believe it... It's not working! This sauce is supposed to be a real gut-burner!"—Eddy, Ed, Edd n Eddy, just before the effects of his brother's Armenian Secret Hot Sauce kick in.
One of the most common ways to induce fiery breath, Blazing Inferno Hellfire Sauce is one of the most dangerous substances known to man. This stuff is so spicy it actually gives off heat, and may even set flammable materials alight when applied directly to them. In extreme cases, flammable materials might go up just by being next to this stuff.
Blazing Inferno Hellfire Sauce is usually made from a special pepper that only grows in one obscure (and probably nonexistent) location in the jungles of South America. It can only be safely harvested wearing full hazmat gear and a gas mask. Often, other ingredients used in the making of the sauce include lava, uranium, and pure unadulterated anger. The sauce often must be specially requested, since no restaurant is just going to leave something like that out in the open. It may actually be illegal in some countries.
Naturally, the Big Eater can't get enough of the stuff. He puts it on everything he eats, and probably carries a bottle (or bottles) with him in case there's no other source. Any other character who dares taste a drop of the stuff will soon be making a beeline for the nearest large body of water to dunk their head into, but there's always one character who considers it a necessary condiment for every meal, and may even occasionally drink it straight.
The spiciness of food, especially of chili peppers, is measured on the Scoville scale. The number of Scoville Heat Units a food has is equal to as many grams of honey one gram of that food needs to be mixed with, evenly, before its "hotness" is undetectable by a taster. Basically, the more capsaicin a food item has, the hotter is tastes. For the sake of comparison, at the bottom of the scale is the Bell Pepper, with a Scoville rating of 0; The Jalapeño pepper has a Scoville rating of 2500-8000; the tabasco pepper is rated at 30,000 to 50,000, and the habanero pepper has a rating of 100,000 to 350,000. Pushing in above that at 1,359,000; the Naga Viper Chili, which is more than 1/4 the hotness of police-grade pepper spray (5,000,000). This is not the hottest available. That would be the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion, which hits a blistering 2,009,231 SHU. As of February 2012, it trounces the Trinidad Scorpion Butch T chili, which clocks in at 1,463,700 SHU. After this, you're into extracted pure capsaicin, with a Scoville rating of up to 16,000,000. While the scale is generally considered scientifically inaccurate, it still remains a pretty good (if imprecise) way to comparatively judge just how hot a certain pepper actually is.
Compare Gargle Blaster. Woe betide us if they are ever combined, though Blazing Inferno Hellfire Sauce is often an essential ingredient in a Hideous Hangover Cure (or it might simply be used as one by itself). Sometimes shares the corrosive effects of Hollywood Acid, generally indicated by its dissolving a teaspoon or similar. A very common form of Masochist's Meal. Will likely result in a Fire-Breathing Diner.
Anime And Manga
- Van of Gun X Sword loves this sort of thing. Given that it's usually a green liquid, it's probably wasabi.
- The Tabasco soup from Urusei Yatsura.
- Or any of the Oni Cuisine, really. At one point, Ataru eats a lollipop made of red hot peppers.
- Galaxy Fraulein Yuna: Yuri Cube's recipe for curry.
- One Naruto filler-arc featured the Curry of Life.
- Revolutionary Girl Utena features 9,000,000,000x strength curry powder as part of Nanami's evil scheme. But nobody cooks with it.
- The short animated film Ghiblies features Studio Ghibli employees going to a restaurant after work and vying to see who can eat the spiciest plate of curry. It ends with one of them blasting off like a rocket.
- Done as a one-off gag in the second season of Vandread. Some of the girls (notably Dita and the new girl Misty) found out that the easiest way of
seducingwinning Hibiki's love is Through His Stomach. Enter Jura who is legitimately trying to seduce Hibiki as well but is not a cook, so she asks her girlfriend, Barnette, to do the cooking for her. Barnette isn't happy about this, of course, so she spikes the food with super-hot sauce. Enter Bart, hoping to find out what makes their food so very special. By the end of the episode, Bart had sworn to eat only nutrition pills from then on.
- A gag Yonkoma from the 100th chapter of Eyeshield 21 featured Hiruma going into a specialty cooking store. Sena and Monta initially think they've discovered Hiruma is secretly into cooking... until they learn all he bought was dozens of bottles of super-spicy hot sauce, presumably for some scheme of his.
- In the Mai-HiME Blu-Ray special, Yukino puts some hot sauce onto a hot dog that glows bright yellow and seemingly causes the hot dog to melt before giving it to Reito, in order to get revenge for the Obsidian Lord's evil deeds.
- In the 4Kids dub of One Piece, Usopp's Kaen Boshi (Flame Star) is called Hot Salsa Star.
- Gaston Lagaffe once made a hot sauce that burned through the cup he kept it in and sent the cartoonist Yves Lebrac screaming up the walls after one little taste.
- He made another one so hot it started crawling across the room, and imprisoned itself in the key locker.
- In one Lucky Luke episode, Billy the Kid used a bottle of Tabasco to escape from jail, by letting it burn through the bars.
- A Nobby's Piles strip in Viz has Devil's Brand Fiery Habanero Pepper Sauce Bang! Bang! Molto Explosivo. In a dark cupboard. Next to the pile cream.
- In the Harry Potter fic "Happily Ever After," goblin food is so spicy that any humans with the guts to eat it have to take a special protective potion beforehand. Harry suggested starting a restaurant chain that specialized in it and possibly adding on some Muggle franchises, because "...there are lots of Muggles who think pain is a flavour."
- Mustrum Ridcully is a fan of Wow-Wow Sauce. It contains scumble, the essence of a particularly pungent vegetable, and two of the primary ingredients in gunpowder, and is occasionally used as a weapon. An illustration in Nanny Ogg's Cookbook shows Ridcully preparing it wearing metal gauntlets, a padded leather apron and a welding mask, with the sauce bottle behind a cast-iron shield.
- After a large meal that included a large amount of the sauce, Ridcully's uncle lit an after-dinner cigar and vanished in mysterious circumstances. Well, not that mysterious: Wow-Wow sauce includes sulfur and saltpeter, and he had a charcoal biscuit before the cigar.
- The curry Susan tastes in Soul Music causes the air to explode after she throws it away.
- In Unseen Academicals, Pepe knocks back an entire bottle of Wow-Wow while rooting around the Night Kitchen of Unseen University in the background of a scene. He notes, in a strangled tone of voice, that it would probably be good with vodka; the narration points out that by all rights he should no longer have a stomach.
- A throwaway passage in Neal Stephenson's The Diamond Age mentions a bottle of sandwich sauce containing "imported habanero peppers", "butts of clove cigarettes", "uranium mill tailings", "nitrates, nitrites, nitrotes and nitrutes, nutrites, natrotes..." and a Long List of similar items.
- Hotroot pepper in the Redwall books. Best guess is that "hotroot" is the local term for a type of horseradish. The otters love the stuff, especially in "shrimp'n'hotroot soup", and hold contests to see how much they can use at once.
- In The Areas of My Expertise, John Hodgman notes that he tried to write a review of these sort of sauces, but after he tried eating one on the low end on the scale on a small cracker, he had to lie down on the couch and cry for the rest of the day. The column was rejected for being "overly gay."
- Jon A Jackson's Fang Mulheisen series of police novels feature a Mafia gangster named Umberto who is addicted to extremely strong Latin American chilli sauces.
Live Action TV
- One Swedish Chef sketch on The Muppet Show has him making super-hot chili. At first, smoke comes out of his ears, but then, after he makes it even spicier, the top of his head blows off.
- The Observers in Fringe apparently have very little sense of taste. In one episode, an Observer has a rare roast beef sandwich covered in jalapeños, an entire shaker of pepper and most of a bottle of Tabasco sauce. In season 2, we see that Observers like to meet in an Indian restaurant and chow down on Naga Jolokia peppers.
- In Red Dwarf, Lister has lost his sense of taste through eating lots of hot curry, his Trademark Favourite Food.
- One episode of Law and Order began in a trendy seafood restaurant where it was the custom for every diner to bring his own favorite brand of hot sauce. The victim's hot sauce had been spiked with cyanide.
- In a Saturday Night Live sketch, a diner at a restaurant orders the "super hot" wings. The server tries to dissuade him, then brings a plate of wings, which the customer notes aren't that spicy at all. The server confesses that they're just the "mild" wings. The customer, by now annoyed, demands the "super hot," at which point the manager sits down with him, tries again to talk him out of it, and finally has him sign a waiver. As the customer is about to take the first bite, the frame freezes and a voice-over explains that he subsequently ran out of the restaurant shouting "Woo woo," shot up into the sky and exploded. In a final irony, he had in fact been served the "medium hot" recipe.
- Man v. Food The Spicy Challenges
- Episodes have featured Phaal, the spiciest curry in the world, chicken wings that put Buffalo to shame, and a burger that has "the four horsemen" of the chilies on it: jalapeños, serrano, habanero, and the Bhut Jolokia (also called the Naga Jolokia, as below).
- A Man V. Food Nation episode in Tulsa had a pizza with two times the jalapenos and habeneros and a "death sauce" that mixes in Thai Sriracha hot sauce and the aforementioned Naga Bhut Jolokia ghost chili peppers.
- Episodes have featured Phaal, the spiciest curry in the world, chicken wings that put Buffalo to shame, and a burger that has "the four horsemen" of the chilies on it: jalapeños, serrano, habanero, and the Bhut Jolokia (also called the Naga Jolokia, as below).
- In Roswell, the alien characters put Tabasco sauce on everything they eat, from hamburgers to chocolate cake. They prefer things to be a combination of "spicy and sweet".
- Thomas from Skins disposes of Johnny White by besting him in a chilli-eating contest. Johnny gingerly places a Naga Jolokia pepper (allegedly; that's what it says in the show, just go with it) on his tongue and carefully, painfully, swallows it whole. Thomas grabs a handful and happily chews away, noting that his family used to grow them in his garden back in the Congo. Johnny's attempt to repeat this feat... goes poorly.
- The short-lived series Mann and Machine had an episode where Eve challenged a suspect to a chili pepper eating contest. The suspect was willing to confess to his crimes in exchange for some water after trying the habaneros. Eve, being a gynoid, was totally unaffected by the peppers.
- The Food Network program Heat Seekers is all about this, with its hosts traveling around a city looking for the spiciest foods they can find. They run into the Jolokia variants nearly every single episode.
- One Garfield strip featured the Peruvian Death Pepper.
Stand Up Comedy
- The Newcastle 'magmaloo' in a routine by Jasper Carrott (based on a real curry).
- Rondell Sheridan has a bit about when he tried to look like he spoke Spanish on vacation in Mexico, and ordered "mucho grande caliente" (essentially something very extremely hot) from a restaurant.
- Pokémon: the Spelon Berry; description: "so spicy is the Spelon Berry that, Fire type or not, Pokémon will try to breathe fire after eating a single one."
- The Jalapeño in Plants vs. Zombies can instantly burn all the zombies in a single lane.
- The curry item in Super Smash Bros Brawl makes you spit fireballs that damage your enemies but not yourself. Your character does a dance of pain while it's active, however...
- The original explanation for Dhalsim's fire-breathing abilities was that he ate a lot of spicy curry. This was later changed to a gift from Agni.
- The Dead Pepper, featured in Final Fantasy IX and Final Fantasy Unlimited. When they were fed to chocobos, it drove them crazy and gave them supercharged abilities.
- In Tales of Monkey Island, there is a chili pepper so hot, you can't touch it with your bare hands without getting burnt. You have to hold it to your tongue for eleven seconds.
- World of Warcraft has (sadly outdated) Dragon Chili, made from mystery meat and a small flame sac taken from baby dragon bodies. Every so often after eating it, the character will breathe a damaging cone of fire on anything they're fighting.
- The Jabañero pepper in Kingdom of Loathing is evidently so spicy that "Just thinking about it makes your mouth hurt." Putting one in a spicy enchanted bean burrito, then eating one, gives one the (fairly useful) skill 'Chronic Indigestion'.
- The sauce in the 17-Alarm Saucepan is described thusly:
"You know those bottles of novelty hot sauce they sell, with the black labels and skulls and names like "Ed's Hot Sauce That Will Totally Murder Your Family"? Compared to this stuff, they're ketchup."
- In Quackshot and Deep Duck Trouble, Donald Duck can eat peppers to become explosively angry and invincible.
- Ms. B's restaurant in Grrl Power has a whole wall of them. Even just opening a bottle results in this.
- The Oatmealconfesses his undying love for Sriracha hot sauce.
- The whole basis of the series Flaming Brian's Kitchen
- The basis of one video belonging to Marz Gurl ; eating a so called Four Horsemen Burger.
- The Diablo Sauce in Kim Possible, which Ron uses packets of for hand warmers at one point.
- The Merciless Hot Pepper of Quetzalsacatenango, also known as the Guatemalan Insanity Pepper from The Simpsons. They're "grown deep in the jungle primeval by the inmates of a Guatemalan insane asylum." Homer has to lacquer his mouth and esophagus in order to eat one, and is still driven temporarily insane by its spiciness.
- The Mexican Death Sauce from the missing Beavis and Butthead episode "Down Mexico Way".
- This one deserves expanding a bit. When in Mexico, our Anti Heroes decide to try the local cuisine. While waiting, they torment a dog by force-feeding it the bottle of "Killer Hot Sauce" on their table. This pisses off the Mexican cook, who reaches for the "Mexican Death Sauce" (which is in a bottle with smoke coming out of it) and puts it on their tacos. Cue Fire-Breathing Diner. (This scene even provides the page image for that trope.)
- The "Pure Jalapini Concentrate" Pete tried to use on Goofy in the 5-part opening of Goof Troop.
- On SpongeBob SquarePants, Sandy threatens SpongeBob with a single drop of hot sauce to the tongue. A drop of hot sauce that talks.
"By the powers of naughtiness, I command this particular drop of hot sauce to be really, really hot!"
- After SpongeBob surrenders, she casually starts gulping the stuff down like it was lemonade.
- A staple for food-related pranks in Looney Tunes cartoons.
- As very spicy mustard (which features a different chemical than capsaicin to produce its spice) used to be much more common, some older works feature this instead of the modern hot sauce. Tom and Jerry features this in several episodes.
- You can get very hot mustard as a condiment at your average Chinese take-out restaurant. WARNING: Do NOT eat more than a light glaze of this stuff on your food - unless you have a cold and you really want to clear out your sinuses.
- Very hot mustard is also commonly found in Russian cuisine. In Russia, you can buy this stuff in quite large jars cheaply.
- In Avatar: The Last Airbender, Fire Nation fire flakes turn out to be, well, hot, as Sokka finds out the hard way. Doesn't stop him from taking a liking to them, though.
- In My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic, Pinkie Pie apparently loves this. She likes to put it on cupcakes. Her brand is so hot that, when Twilight Sparkle accidentally drank some, her tail and mane caught on fire.
- Pinkie Pie can't handle the spiciness of liquid rainbow (Yes, literal rainbows), however. She even breathes fire in several different colors!
- In the Rocko's Modern Life episode "Flu-In-U-Enza," the Enchanted Upchucks prepare a spicy concoction for Rocko to help him get better. It works.
- The "Honor Thy Ed" episode of Ed, Edd n Eddy starts with the Eds having set up a taco stand selling "tacos" made of paper plates, grass, and shredded crayons. After Ed, Extreme Omnivore he is, eats several crayons thinking they are flavors, Edd humors him and takes a bite of one. He is disgusted and needs water, but the closest thing is Eddy's Brother's Armenian Secret Hot Sauce. He guzzles part of it and seems unfazed at first. Ed also consumes some. Eddy thinks the sauce didn't work and also eats some. It's at that moment the effect takes hold, howeever. We see a Discretion Shot from down the street as a tower of flame erupts from the stand and the Eds sticking their mouths on a sprinkler.
- "Grandpappy's Texas Tin-Horn Sizzlin' Salsa Sauce" in Xiaolin Showdown. Two bottles of it turn Dojo, a dragon who can normally only breath soot clouds, into a volcano.
- Chowder gets a whole episode based around this, considering it's a cartoon about food. The episode (aptly named "the Fire Breather") introduces the rarest and hottest peppers in the world, the Dancing Diablos. Peppers so hot they're on fire - literally. Guess who decides to eat all of them?
- Garfield had Grandma's sausage gravy in A Garfield Christmas. It started out as Mom's normal gravy, but Grandma snuck in and added chili powder while whispering about how her gravy won first prize at the fair three years in a row while Mom's didn't even place. A bit later, Garfield comes in and gets some on his finger, then licks it. Cue the fire breath a second later, and then Garfield going "Perfect!".
- Regular Show: When Mordecai and Rigby try to pass of an unconscious Benson as awake, they get him involved in a spicy food contest with a guy. Benson comes to just as the guy prepares a concoction he calls "Mississipi Queen", so he has Mordecai and Rigby drink it as well. At first they feel nothing, but suddenly start hallucinating and wake up the next morning in the park.
- Taz-Mania: In "Francis Takes a Stand", Francis switches Taz's lemonade recipe with a recipe for a Blazing Inferno Hellfire Sauce. Naturally, Francis ends up drinking more of the stuff than Taz does.
- There are innumerable brands of hot sauce out there with names like Torch, Hell's Breath, and the like. Most are the same sauce - as in made at the same time using the same recipe and by the same manufacturer. This naturally hasn't stopped hot sauce aficionados from getting into huge fights over which is the best.
- There are several real-life hot "sauces" that aren't actually sauces at all. Many manufacturers whose hot "sauces" skirt the upper limits of the Scoville scale advertise special "pure capsaicin hot sauces" that are actually made of pure capsaicin that has been diluted with water or vegetable oil. However, such "sauces" are lethally toxic and thus are not intended for actual human consumption. They are novelty collector's items, not actual food additives, and thus only technically qualify as examples of this trope.
- A restaurant in Tallahassee, Florida, was once shut down by the Leon County Health Department on charges of toxic chemical contamination (and the owner cited for Reckless Endangerment) after they began featuring food that had been "spiced up" with one of these additives. This is no joke, folks. These things will kill you if you ingest too much of them.
- Don't just take our word for it. Here's the abridged MSDS for the stuff.
- There are tourist shops that specialize in hot sauces with various interesting labels: one in San Diego makes customers sign a waiver which basically states "I understand this is a "food additive," not a sauce, and I certify that I am not drunk right now" when they purchase the pure capsaicin bottles.
- Here (warning: NSFW) is a first-person perspective on eating a curry made with one of these nightmare "condiments".
- Consider the Naga/Bhut Jolokia pepper (AKA the "Ghost Chili"), the hottest pepper in the world. It has a Scoville Scale rating of 850,000 to 1,500,000 (compare that to a Jalapeño, which has a Scoville rating between 2500 and 8000, or even the Habanero pepper, which tops out at 350,000). You have to use protective gear to cook with this thing, and that's not a joke: they're literally hot enough to irritate skin. Cooking with them in the traditional sense is impossible. Most people in Bangladesh, from where the breed originates, only dip it into the cooking pot for a few seconds, while smearing the rest of the pepper on their fence as an elephant deterrent.
- It has been upped in March 2011 by Trinidad Scorpion "Butch T", Guinness World Records attest. And this is already pushing it toward genetic engineering (i.e. not something that grow naturally in some place).
- Do note that these are not technically the hottest substance found in nature; some plants have extremely pungent substance that ranks at 16 billion Scoville. Such substances aren't capsaicin and probably should not be used as condiment.
- The phaal is a British speciality whose selling point is that it's basically chicken in Blazing Inferno Hellfire Sauce. Most curry houses don't actually list it on the menu but will serve it if you specifically ask for it; the staff will look on warily as you eat. If it's anything to go by, it's hotter than the vindaloo, and even that's overpowered to the tongues of many.
- According to Jasper Carrott, the phaal is so called because the usual response after eating it is "FFFFFFFFFFFFFF... I'll be all right...". The Geordies attempted to one-up it with the even hotter 'magmaloo', which according to Carrott comes in a bowl made of Space Shuttle re-entry tiles, comes with a side order of Savlon, and has a tendency to melt spoons. And fillings.
- Another legend is that "phaal" is a Bengali word meaning "stupid drunk white man".
- Jeremy Clarkson once wrote a blog article called Help, quick - I've unscrewed the top on a ticking time bomb in which he ingested one of these and rapidly realized his error.
Burns victims often say that when they are actually on fire, there is no pain. It has something to do with the body pumping out adrenaline in such vast quantities that the nerve endings stop working. Well, it wasn’t like that for me. The pain started out mildly, but I knew from past experience that this would build to a delightful fiery sensation. I was even looking forward to it. But the moment soon passed. In a matter of seconds I was in agony. After maybe a minute I was frightened that I might die. After five I was frightened that I might not.
- Even Tabasco sauce (comparatively mild to most everything else on this list) has some rather impressive corrosive properties. It is said that the forklifts used to transport the oak barrels in which the stuff is aged have to be replaced every two years, because the Tabasco mash eats through the forklift blades.
- An episode of Myth Busters featured Adam and Jamie testing whether hot sauce (like common salsa) could be used to break out of prison by corroding the iron bars. The result was that with enough time (which is a lot if you are in prison) it is possible to break the bars with salsa. Jamie also showed that with a little DC current from a radio (like if the inmate smuggled one in) you could potentially speed up this process since the salsa was a good conductor.
- It is important to point out that hot sauce also contains citric acid. Many forms of salsa also contain a good deal of salt, which has corrosive properties in the right circumstances.
- Wasabi sauce is another notable variant. A Japanese team won the 2011 Ig Nobel prize for chemistry for patenting a fire alarm for the deaf that sprays out aerosolized wasabi. The smell of wasabi can wake up sleepers in under 10 seconds.
- And horseradish, western cousin of wasabi. Especially one sauce used in Ukraine - it is mixed with Russian Mustard, which is damn hot already and an extra helping of salt. It does taste good with borscht, if you apply it in a fin layer on bread.
- Certain parts of Africa cover up the low quality of their beef by cooking it in a concoction known as "pepper soup" using small wild peppers which seem to only be used for that purpose. It is successful in covering the taste of the beef, as well as everything else for the next week.
- There's also been some research indicating those hot peppers can stave off food poisoning, which may explain their popularity in places where the heat makes food and water a bit suspect.
- And planting chilies around the edges of your fields is a great way to keep elephants off your crops, precisely for this reason.
- Not entirely sure if this was made with peppers, but it undoubtably counts: I lost my uvula in the war
- Korean kimchi. Several varieties are just painful to even smell, let alone eat. South Korea has very low rates of intestinal parasite infection, but also high rates of stomach cancer.
- Mapo Doufu, a Chinese course, which That Other Wiki describes as "powerfully spicy" (using those exact words). It's popular enough in Japan to show up as the go-to example for hotly spiced food in Anime, Manga and visual novels, such as in Angel Beats! and Fate Stay Night.
- Several regions in China are known for having extremely spicy cooking due to a combination of weather conditions, availability of spices, attuned palates and the occasional need to mask less than optimal ingredients. Sichuan cuisine in particular is infamous and a local joke says the people there essentially worry that a dish isn't spicy enough, though the peppers responsible for the heat (and the blood red color of dishes that use lots of it) also have a numbing effect.
- Some... people... believe that hot spices can cure or worsen cancers.
- In 2007, part of central London was evacuated when fumes from a Thai restaurant cooking up a large batch of chilli sauce sparked fears of a chemical weapon attack.
- ↑ However, in real life a glass of beer can help take the edge off a dose of Blazing Inferno Hellfire Sauce because capsaicin is soluble in alcohol. But not water. Vodka and other such liquors are half water, and beer is about 90% water. So drink Everclear or something. Or for those that prefer to retain their liver, milk is recommended (But use like mouthwash for the really hot stuff or it will just move the problem downstream.)