FOOD fanatics on Wearside are being challenged to take on what is thought to be the spiciest chicken wings on the planet.
Sunderland’s Purple Bar – part of the The Point complex at Holmeside – has introduced its own Man vs Food style contest, calling on diners to eat its chicken wings covered in a sauce made with three of the hottest chillies in the world.
The 10-wing Tap Out Challenge - taking its name from a Mixed Martial Arts term where fighters “tap out” to indicate they submit - involves so much heat the challenge is limited it to over 18s only.
And it’s such a health risk that anyone who wants to take part has to also sign a disclaimer to say that they are aware of the dangers.
Those who are successful will get the cost of the dish - £7.95 - refunded and a photo of them will be installed on the bar’s Wall of Flame.
The challenge is being introduced as part of a revamp of the Park Lane venue.
Purple Bar owner Lorraine Griffiths’ partner, businessman Tony, told the Echo: “We just want to provide something different in Sunderland.
“Everywhere you look it’s Italians or Indians and maybe the odd Chinese and there’s nowhere that does American finger food like this.
“There’s no frozen chips. It’s all fresh.
“We want to make the venue a place where you can have experience rather than just a meal.”
The wings are covered in the bar’s MK1 Secret Recipe Chilli BBQ sauce, using chillies which are ranked at over one million units on the Scoville scale, the recognised international measure of the heat of chillies.
The chef at the bar – who has to wear gloves when preparing the sauce – has combined the notorious moruga scorpion pepper from Trinidad, the naga chili and the Florida-grown ghost pepper.
The more familiar fiery scotch bonnet chillies rank as only around 100,000 units on the Scoville Scale, which is weak in comparison with the secret sauce ingredients which are around one million units each.
Anyone taking part has 10 minutes to eat the 10 wings and is not allowed any further food or drink for at least five minutes afterwards to “prolong the torture” according to Tony.
So far, out of more than 20 people to take on the challenge, just two have succeeded.
“We had a student who managed it and also someone who came in after the last Sunderland game, although I only ate two myself when I tried it,” said Tony.
“That proves it is do-able, but I have to warn people that it is very, very tough.”