Ocean City Today

Attorneys to eat hot peppers for hurricane victims, Friday

Home-grown hotness to be consumed on courthouse steps in Snow Hill at 4:30
Sep 14, 2017
Michael Farlow

(Sept. 15, 2017) What started as a lighthearted Facebook post about growing one of the world’s hottest peppers last weekend escalated into an honest fundraising effort to help hurricane victims.

Attorney Michael Farlow revealed that his garden had yielded a single Carolina Reaper pepper, currently the hottest pepper in the world, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, and that spicy tidbit begged the question of what to do with it.

“I was growing it just because. When you see something so monumentally foolish to have, you kind of want it,” Farlow said.

Cultivation websites caution against so much as touching the vine of a Carolina Reaper without protection, and wearing goggles when preparing it to eat.

Farlow’s friends goaded him into eating it, which then became sort of an open challenge. At least two other takers stepped forward: Assistant State’s Attorney Billy McDermott and Lt. Timothy Mulligan, who works at the Worcester County Jail.

They eventually decided against the reaper, choosing instead for another crop of Farlow’s, the ghost pepper.

Chili heat is measured on the Scoville scale. A jalapeno measures about 6,000 Scoville units. A ripe reaper can measure 2.2 million Scoville units, and a ghost pepper, formerly the hottest pepper in the world, clocks in at up to 1.2 million units.

“I replied that if we were going to have a challenge this stupid, we should do it in front of a lot of people, so we tied it to hurricane relief,” Farlow said.

Today, at 4:30 p.m. at the Worcester County Courthouse in Snow Hill, the three will test themselves against the ghost pepper. Farlow has set up a funding page to benefit the American Red Cross.

“I’ve never eaten the pepper itself, but had it in a hot sauce. They say drink milk, eat ice cream or bread — that didn’t help. The only thing that helped is time,” he said. “People in Florida and Texas lost their homes, their families and their properties. We’re doing something stupid and painful so we can draw attention to their situation.”


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