Chili pepper eating competition will crown American champion

(Photo by Gerhard Joren/LightRocket via Getty Images)
(Photo by Gerhard Joren/LightRocket via Getty Images) /

The best chili pepper eaters from across North America are invited to compete for the League of Fire Americas Belt during the Heating Up the Capital hot sauce expo just outside of Ottawa, Canada on Saturday, September 4th, 2021.

What is competitive chili pepper eating?

If you’re new to the sport of chili pepper eating, here’s a quick run down: the competitions usually start with a mild chili pepper like jalapeños (2,500-8,000 Scoville), but the peppers get progressively hotter each round until they get to an insanely wild chili pepper like a Carolina Reaper (1.5 – 2.2 million Scoville).

Contestants eat each pepper together while battling through feelings of intense heat that seem to burn through their tongues, lips, throats and guts.  This is a test of endurance, pain tolerance and mental strength.  If you drink any liquids, you’re out.  If you throw up, you’re out.  If you tap out from the intense pain, you’re out.

League of Fire

League of Fire is an organization dedicated to building chili eating as a world-wide sport.  Chili pepper eating is a new growing sport and this will be the first ever American championship.  There are now three League of Fire divisional belts:  The Americas Belt, the European Belt and the Oceania Belt.

All of the belts are currently vacant except for the Oceania Belt which was claimed by Jesse Painter at the New Zealand Chili Eating Champions finale in May 2021.  It was Painter’s second consecutive year as champion of the contest.

Once each divisional belt is claimed, the winners will face-off and the one left standing will dawn the World Championship Belt.

Chili pepper eaters from across Canada flock to Ottawa

The Covid-19 pandemic has put a damper on a lot of international travel, so some of America’s best chili pepper eaters aren’t expected to make the trip to Ottawa.  Fortunately, some of the world’s best chili pepper eaters call Canada home.

James “The Pyro Pit Bull” Kloepper from Calgary, Alberta is ranked #1 and Kenny “Never Die” Lamoureux from Montreal, Quebec is ranked #2 in the League of Fire World Rankings.

They’ll be joined by hometown hero, Greg Frank Marcus, from Ottawa, Ontario, and Andréja “Spicefox” Petja, who won the 2019 Heat Wave Hot Sauce Expo chili pepper eating competition in London, Ontario.  I will also be competing (read my bio to learn more).

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Do you have what is takes to be the American chili pepper eating champion? Or, is the heat too extreme for your tastes?