The Monthly Munch: ‘One Chip Challenge’ bests competitors


Photo by Abraham Labban

Senior and ‘One Chip Challenge’ participant Tyler Cosgrove struggles with spice near the 10-minute mark.

I recently attempted the ‘One Chip Challenge’ by Paqui. This challenge entails eating a tortilla chip enhanced with Carolina Reaper and Scorpion peppers without drinking anything for as long as you can. The Carolina Reaper measures at 1.7 million Scoville units and Scorpion Pepper is around 1.2 million Scoville units. For reference Tabasco sauce varies between 2,500 and 5,000 Scoville units. I don’t enjoy spicy food but decided to put my body to the ultimate test.

At first glance, the chip is separately packaged within a box and has a black charcoal appearance, a telling sign that my night was going to be long. Before eating the chip I consulted with experienced peers for advice on how to tackle the challenge. “I would say most of the challenge is mental, at some point the spice fades aways and it becomes a game of how bad you really want it,” senior Ethan Kaun said.

I was finally ready to eat the chip. It tasted stale and like it was made in a lab, which it definitely was. I could spot the pain within the first five seconds as I saw my challenger, senior Tyler Cosgrove, whose tongue was dark blue and had eyes full of tears. “I’m not sure why I agreed to participate in the challenge because the spiciest thing I’ve eaten before this was probably Sriracha hot sauce,” Cosgrove said.

The first five minutes were full of tears and a burning mouth, but I was naive to what was coming next. Extreme stomach pain struck me at full force, folding me into the fetal position on the floor. I was begging for mercy. “As a spectator and friend, it was painful just to watch the chip take control of their bodies,” senior Abraham Labban said.

The chip was doing somersaults in my stomach, making me rethink my life decisions, and a quick peek at Cosgrove showed all kinds of liquids coming from his mouth. At 15 minutes the temptation of giving up was greater than ever, but I had to dig deep to beat my challenger and give an honest review of the chip to you, my readers. “We agreed to call it quits at 25 minutes, which at the time couldn’t come sooner and gave us both a boost of motivation to finish strong,” Cosgrove said.

Closing in on the 25-minute mark my body was paralyzed with pain, leaving only my brain to fend the chip off. Thankfully, the timer rang and I drowned my mouth in milk to relieve the burning sensation. Unfortunately, the devil himself had entered my stomach and I quickly did everything imaginable to not digest the chip, or else I would suffer the consequences the next day.

If you do decide to compete in the challenge, which I don’t recommend, come prepared with milk or something similar. Be ready to laugh one moment and then the next have every liquid you drank in the past week force its way out. Have a friend to aid you along the way and remember that Tony Hawk only lasted five minutes before drinking milk.