Curry Eating Competitions

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Most people who I socialise with know about my interest (some would say obsession) with curries. An article in the NZ Herald prompted a few friends to text me with the news that eating curries can kill you.

The article covered a curry eating contest held in Edinburgh (the original Dunedin) where a couple of people ended up in hospital after eating a super-hot curry, called the
“Kismot Killer”, which was served to them as part of a curry eating contest that was held in a restaurant called Kismot.

I don’t know what is in this curry but I assume it includes a few naga chillies. Naga chillies are among the hottest in the world and new, hotter, varieties are being produced each year (the image of a room full of mad scientists slaving over test tubes keeps jumping into my head but it is more likely that people are cultivating, and changing, these chillies in green houses and hothouses – they could still be mad though).

The curry eating contest was held in order to raise funds for charity and a couple of thousand pounds was raised for the Chas children’s charity.

Every so often I read about these super-hot curries and it never ceases to amaze me that people would eat this muck – I can’t say they are eating curries because, generally speaking, curries are nice and edible. Of course, it’s all mainly to do with bravado and often to do with alcohol. Get a few guys together in the UK over a few beers and just say that you love eating hot curries and watch what happens – it’s a modern day equivalent of arm wrestling where even the skinny guys have a chance of winning.

Most restaurants that serve up these dishes usually require the diner to sign a consent form that removes any liability for the effects of eating the meal.

I know that when I was younger, and stupid, I used to love a hot curry after a few beers. I generally went for a vindaloo and very occasionally had a phal. But did I enjoy the curries? Probably not (I can’t remember that far back). I only knew that I had to eat something and that it probably had to be spicy hot to get past the alcohol fumes. Not a very healthy lifestyle.

But I’m older now (and wiser?). And I enjoy my food. And I love eating curries. It’s the flavours and textures and tastes. If the curries are too hot then I can’t taste much at all. So I haven’t eaten a vindaloo in a long, long, time.

So you won’t see me tasking part in any of these crazy eating contests. Or any kind of eating contests (the TV news regularly shows eating contests from around the world with people shoving burgers, eggs, pies, etc. down their throats at a rapid rate). There are professional eating contests around nowadays, mainly in the US.  If I get offered a scorching curry to eat for charity then I’d rather just give the charity the cash and retain my stomach lining.

I’ll stick to my chicken jalfrezi, or beef madras, and leave all the macho stuff to these mad people.

And next time I’m in Edinburgh (a beautiful city), I’ll be sure to give the “Kismot Killer” a wide berth.


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3 thoughts on “Curry Eating Competitions

  1. Oh dear another female philistine who has been allowed away from the sink for an evening!

    How , as a food writer( food lover??? lol) can you call this food ‘Muck’? this strength of curries are eaten by people throughout the Asian world ( not just english lager louts).

    If you had any qualifications as a food lover then you would accept its not just about taste. The foodie experience goes far deeper than that. What about the whole eating experience of a good curry? just because some woman cant stand it it is not automatically Muck!

    I grow Naga Dorset chillis in my greenhouse along with other varieties (and Jalapenos), there is a mystical eating experience of these chillies. And no its not about producing forever hotter chillies, its a case of how tastes change for (us) chilli lovers. For me a most satisfying curry is hot where it leaves your whole mouth,then throat then stomach “buzzing”. ( and the next day some other body part gets overheated! thats the downside), you know the first spoonful when it hits you and you think oh this one is too hot to handle! then it mellows out into a fabulous taste extravaganzar! Hot curries work extremely well with garlic nan’s. Oh and I should tell you that im not some whippersnapper flexing his muscles at the local Indian on a Friday night (although I always was pretty good at arm wrestling) I Will be 50 later this year and I am not anti feminist I just wrote those things to get your attention hehe (slap my wrist) Your article does seem very personal tho, I dont like it and therefor it must be bad. Remember, Chilli & garlic in any quantities cant be a bad thing.