Gregory Foster is on fire after achieving yet another chilli eating record in San Diego, California, USA.
On 17 September 2022, the hot pepper enthusiast earned a record title for the fastest time to eat 10 Carolina Reaper chillies after scarfing them down in an impressive 33.15 seconds.
The achievement comes just nine months after his latest triumph, where he crushed the record for the fastest time to eat three Carolina Reaper chillies in an astonishing 8.72 seconds.
Some like it hot, but Gregory is known for taking his spicy speed-eating to the extreme, scarfing down some seriously fiery chillies.
The Carolina Reaper holds the record title for being the hottest chilli pepper ever.
Grown by Ed Currie of the PuckerButt Pepper Company (USA), the Carolina Reaper far outranks familiar spicy peppers like the jalapeño and ghost peppers.
The devilish pepper clocks in at a hellish 1,641,183 Scoville Heat Units—a method of quantifying a substance’s 'spiciness', through determining the concentration of the chemical compounds responsible for the sensation.
As well as being a keen chilli eater, Gregory owns a hot sauce company and cultivates his own chillies on his farm.
But why would anyone voluntarily chow down on so many sizzling chilli peppers?
"It’s the passion of pain, I guess," said Gregory.
While Gregory attempted each of his other records solo, this time there was an added challenge of trying to outperform a Reaper-loving rival.
Mitch Donnelly (USA), who is head football coach and a biology teacher at Westview High School, works with Gregory and once won a chilli eating competition that Gregory organized at a hot sauce festival.
So, the chilli eating champs went head-to-head, quickly powering through the peppers one by one to see who could push through the pain and walk away with the record.
"He can definitely put away the peppers; a decent competitor for sure." - Mitch Donnelly
Between bouts of belching, sweating and hurling, Gregory once again proved that no amount of spiciness is too much for his tastebuds to bear.
"This is the one part of the job that I hate," said Gregory.
"But it's the one part of the job that's the most entertaining for everybody else."
With a mouth ablaze with peppery fire, Gregory described the experience as similar to trying to eat charcoal as quickly as possible.
"The good thing about Reapers is the really bad heat doesn’t kick in for about 30 seconds or so," said Gregory.
"It’s when I stand up and start chugging milk and water and everything, to go through the post competition phase, that the heat really kicks in."
The Carolina Reaper chilli has been described as having a fruity taste, with the initial bite being sweet and then immediately turning to what many say molten lava must feel like.
"It just really is just like liquid lava," said Gregory.
"It’s painful, it really is."
Gregory says the key to competitive chilli eating is to have milk and ice cream on hand.
Chillies contain a substance called capsaicin that makes taste buds sting.
When capsaicin binds with sensor receptors in the mouth, heat-detecting neural sensors send a message straight to the brain: "fire!"
Dairy, however, contains casein, a fat-loving compound that binds with spicy capsaicin oil and then washes it away.
This little hack makes eating chilli peppers far easier to tolerate.
After scarfing down all ten Reapers in record-breaking time and guzzling down every ounce of milk he had on hand, the heat-loving contender proved that his pepper-eating prowess still goes unmatched.
"Honestly, if I really wanted to, I could probably do it again right now, but I don’t have any milk or anything like that."
"Other than that, it was pretty painful," continued Gregory.
Gregory also holds a third record for the fastest time to eat three Bhut Jolokia chillies in just 7.47 seconds.
The pepper, more commonly known as the Ghost Pepper, is said to be 400 times hotter than Tabasco sauce, with an insane 1,041,427 Scoville Heat Units.
Who knows which spicy pepper record the chilli connoisseur will dare to go after next?
Perhaps the Dragon’s Breath pepper, which (unofficially) tested at over 2.4 million Scoville units and is rumoured to be the hottest chilli pepper ever cultivated.