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'Eat that pepper!': Contestants take on the world's hottest peppers at Nampa Farmers Market

The top three contestants ate a total of 26 mouth-burning peppers each and received a cash prize and a complimentary bottle of TUMS.

NAMPA, Idaho — The Nampa Farmers Market held a hot pepper eating contest on Saturday, where 14 brave contestants ate some of the world's hottest peppers for a chance to win a $300 cash prize.

Peppers ranged in spiciness on the Scoville scale, which measures the pungency or "heat" of chili peppers in Scoville Heat Units (SHU). Contestants were presented with chilis from a jalapeno pepper, which measures between 2,500-8,000 SHU, to a chocolate habanero pepper, which measures between 425,000-577,000 SHU.

This is the second hot pepper contest that has taken place at the farmer's market, according to Nampa Farmers Market's Board President Bob Wagner.

"We had some of the hottest peppers in the world here," Wagner said. "It's fun. It promotes growing hot peppers, which we got a lot of interest in here at the Nampa Farmers Market that grows the hot peppers."

A huge crowd gathered in front of the contestants as they took on the hot peppers. Miraculously, most of the participants lasted more than halfway through the contest.

When all was said and done, three winners were declared:

  • First Place: Toby 
  • Second Place: Joshua 
  • Third Place: Arthur

Toby, the first place winner, previously won first place in the hot pepper contest two years ago, something Wagner said is a rare occurrence.

The third-place winner received $100, the second-place winner received $200 and the first-place winner won $300. All the winners also received a complimentary bottle of TUMS.

"It's a reason to come out and support the market. We have a terrific community of folks that are here with us in Nampa and surrounding areas that come out here to the market every week and support the market," Wagner said. "We've got over 100 vendors and we just like to do a lot of fun things almost every week to promote the market and this is one of those fun things."

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