Hot Pepper Challenge

Brandon Wood Wins The 2023 Nampa Farmers Market

Hot Pepper Challenge

There was sweat. There was pain. There were tears. There was snot.

With no regard for their taste buds (or perhaps in spite of them), seven brave souls competed in the 4th annual Nampa Farmers Market Hot Pepper Challenge.

Brandon Wood of Meridian was the last man standing and won the top prize of $300 and a bottle of Tums.

The contestants were given a succession of hotter and hotter peppers starting with the Spicy Hatch (1000 Scoville Units) through the Apocalypse Scorpion (1.2 to 1.4 million Scoville Units).

Participants were required to eat the entire pepper down to the stem within 60 seconds.

One by one the contestants dropped out leaving three: Wood, Nathan Arters of Nampa and Kevin Mills of Boise. Arters came in second, winning $200 and Mills was third, winning $100.

The contestants got through 17 of the 28 peppers that were selected for the contest.

For the first time in the contest’s history, every pepper featured in the contest was grown locally, with peppers provided by Pepper Pops and Dirty Sanchez Hot Sauce.

Organizers had the hottest peppers in the world ready to go, including the current hottest as measured by the Guinness Book of World Records, the Carolina Reaper (2.2 million Scoville units) and the Dragon’s Breath (est. 2.48 million Scoville Units).

Plans are already in the works for the 2024 contest.