"Apparently This Matters" is CNN Tech's weekly, offbeat look at what's trending online
This week, Jarrett considers a story about the world's hottest curry
"The Widower" is considered the hottest plate of curry anywhere
A man finished it for the first time -- and hallucinated
Editor’s Note: Each week in “Apparently This Matters,” CNN’s Jarrett Bellini applies his warped sensibilities to trending topics in social media and random items of interest on the interwebs.
There’s a great dive bar in my neighborhood called Jack’s where they oven-bake the chicken wings. And they’re absolutely amazing. I’m not saying I’ve had semi-inappropriate fantasies about them. But I’m also not denying it.
Yes. Things continue to be weird at home.
But it’s worth noting that, despite my undying love for these wings, I’m actually a complete coward when it comes to sauce.
I always get teriyaki. Spicy foods have never really been my thing. Unlike some of my friends who, in a pinch, would happily use Texas Pete for contact lens solution.
So, I could only sit in horror as I read a trending story from England this week about the first person to finish the “world’s hottest curry.” And, sadly, we can only assume this brave hero also sat in horror several hours later when he realized that the world’s hottest curry wanted out.
“Strong men … also cry.”
Nevertheless, Dr. Ian Rothwell proudly became the first of more than 300 people to conquer Bindi restaurant’s famous dish, “The Widower.” A name that, apparently, had a slightly more menacing ring to it than “The Care Bear.”
Bindi restaurant, in the English East Midlands town of Grantham, has been serving the Widower since 2010. The recipe, which is openly shared online, has become a popular Web search as curry enthusiasts around the world clamor for new and interesting ways to make one of the most delicious and wonderful foods on the planet completely inedible.
Specifically, the main driving force behind the Widower’s heat is 20 Infinity chilis, which were developed by a Grantham man named Nick Woods who grew the record-breaking strain completely by accident.
Bindi restaurant’s managing director and executive chef, Muhammed Karim, took those accidental chilis, combined them with other peppers and extracts, and created what he believes is the world’s hottest curry. I’ll never know because I still value the functioning ability of my esophagus. It’s where pudding goes.
Amazingly, just cooking the storied dish requires gloves, goggles and a gas mask. Which, generally speaking, is a sure sign that whatever you’re doing in the kitchen is less safe than, say, heating up a Lean Pocket.
Cooking meth is less safe than heating up a Lean Pocket. I rest my case.
And so, hundreds of people have tried to finish off the Widower. But up until just the other day, nobody had ever made it to the end. And only a few have lasted past four or five mouthfuls, most opting instead to vomit, cry and rethink their overall purpose in life.
“I should buy a boat.”
Though Rothwell amazingly finished the entire dish in just over an hour, it wasn’t easy. In fact, it was probably downright reckless.
Armed only with a bottle of beer, he bravely made it halfway through the meal before excusing himself for a short walk. Not so much because it was a particularly nice day but because he actually began hallucinating. About 10 minutes later, his wife found him wandering up Grantham High Street, presumably having a rather nefarious conversation with own hand.
“Agreed. We shall light stuff on fire.”
Eventually, with tears running from his eyes, Rothwell downed the very last bite of the world’s hottest curry. Or so the restaurant still claims. It’s all rather unofficial.
However, what is official is the actual hottest chili pepper. According to Guinness World Records, that honor was most recently set in March 2011 by the Trinidad Scorpion “Butch T” pepper from Australia.
I Googled this thing, and it looks pretty damn mean. If ever there was a fruit capable of having sex with your sister and kicking your dog, it’s the Trinidad Scorpion.
The previously mentioned Infinity chili – used in the Widower – earned the highly coveted record a year earlier in March 2010 but was ousted only a few months later by the Naga Viper chili, also grown in the UK. They remain third and second, respectively.
So, that’s the story of the man who conquered the world’s hottest curry. Surely, everybody knows someone right now who would gladly accept the challenge. And they would all likely fail. For it takes a true warrior to step up and face the Widower.
Or you can just be sensible and have something else.
Strong men … also eat teriyaki.