COMPETITORS with a sense of adventure – and iron clad taste buds – are being urged to step forward for an annual chilli eating contest.
Those brave enough to enter this year’s Chilli Fest at Holker Hall and Gardens, near Grange-over-Sands, will be put to the test in the battle of heat on Saturday and Sunday, September 7 and 8.
The exciting event, which sees competitors seeing how far they can venture up the scorching Scoville Scale, will go ahead at 4pm during the fun celebration of all things fiery and hot.
Heather Creasey, Holker Hall manager, said the festival was one of the most popular events in the stately home’s calendar.
“We’ve got lots lined up for everyone to enjoy at this year’s Chilli Fest,” she went on.
“It’s always a well attended, much-loved weekend that draws people from near and far.
“Of course, one of the highlights of each day is the chilli eating contest. You can join in on the day, but now is the time to step forward and enter the competition to really put your taste buds to the test.”
Chilli Fest at Holker will see specialist chilli growers and artisan makers and food producers from across the country set up shop at the 400-year-old stately home for the weekend.
There will also be a host of entertainment for all ages with a chilli-inspired garden trail for children, a face painter, street entertainment and light hearted fun from the Bread and Butter Theatre Company.
A Mexican-themed night will be held in the Ilex Restaurant in The Courtyard on Saturday, where visitors can dine on tasty cuisine with a chilli-fuelled kick.
The chilli-eating contest is open to anyone and will see competitors tasting a range of chilli varieties which ascend the Scoville chart – the official measure of potency.
The winner will receive a trophy as well as the glory of being crowned Holker Chilli Eating Champion 2019.
Heather added: “We are really looking forward to Chilli Fest.
“What we’d really like to see this year is people stepping forward to take on the chilli eating challenge as early as possible – and hopefully encouraging some friends to have a go too.
“It’s always fantastic fun, whether you are brave enough to take part or simply want to watch.”
Chilli Fest takes place between 10.30am to 5pm. Entry, which includes access to the market, gardens and parking, costs £6.50 per adult while children under 16 go free.
Visitors can upgrade their ticket to access Holker Hall for an additional £3.50 per person.
The Garden Chilli Trail costs £2 per child.
Anyone who would like to register themselves for the Chilli eating challenge can do so by calling Holker Hall on 015395 58328.
The potency of chillies is measured against the world renowned Scoville Scale.
It ranges from the humble bell pepper – which sits at the bottom of the chart – to the mighty Carolina Reaper, hailed as the hottest in the world.
In between are varieties such as Jalapeno, Cayenne, Tabasco and Scotch Bonnet.
The higher the concentration of Capsaicinoids in a pepper, the further up the scale it will appear.