Can You Handle The World's Spiciest Tortilla Chip?

by Lara Rutherford-Morrison

When confronted with ludicrously spicy foods, people tend to have two reactions: “No way in Hell” and “Yes, PLEASE.” If you fall into the latter category (I don’t understand you, but I respect your commitment to living on the edge), you’ll be psyched to try the spiciest tortilla chip ever. The Carolina Reaper Madness chip from Paqui is a tortilla chip flavored with — you guessed it — the infamous Carolina Reaper, aka the spiciest pepper in the world. Guys, this chip is not messing around.

Usually when I have tortilla chips, I eat way too much of them because they are delicious and salty and often accompanied by melted cheese. But with this chip, you only need one. In fact, Paqui is so sure that one will be your limit that they’ve packaged the Carolina Reaper Madness chip singly in foil packets, with one chip inside each coffin-shaped box. (If that doesn’t tell you something about how you’ll feel after eating it, nothing will.)

The chip’s power comes from the pepper used to flavor it: The Carolina Reaper took the helm as the world’s hottest pepper in 2013, replacing the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion. The Reaper hits an average of 1,569,300 heat units on the Scoville Scale (though it can be as hot as 2.2 million units). That means that the average Carolina Reaper is more than 190 times hotter than the hottest jalepeño, which clocks in at between 2,500 and 8,000 units on the scale. In other words, it’s hot. Insanely, agonizingly hot.

If you still want to put this chip in your mouth, despite (or because of?) the promise of excruciating heat, you can take part in Paqui’s One Chip Challenge by eating a chip, filming the inevitable sobbing, and posting the video to social media with the hashtag #OneChipChallenge. (Find out more about the challenge at Paqui's website.)

Here’s a video of Paqui brand manager Jeff Day eating one of the chips:

“My hands are actually numb” pretty much sums it up. If you choose to take part in this madness, be sure to have some milk, ice cream, or honey on standby (and also tissues, because you will be CRYING).

The limited-edition Carolina Reaper Madness chip ($4.99) will be available at in late-September and in stores nationwide starting October 1.

Images courtesy of Paqui.