A few weeks ago I decided kind of last minute that I wanted to catch the Canucks game at a pub. What pub you ask? Why Big Ridge Brewing Company of course! I’m a big fan of Big Ridge for a lot of reasons, good beer, good food and my latest discovery, the hottest wings I’ve had in a looooong time, maybe even the hottest wings I’ve ever had. The scary part is that they were “Level 4” and I’m pretty sure there’s a “Level 5″…
Executive Chef Charlie Yang is a wizard of spice, I sampled his level 1 hot sauce with an order of butter chicken which was fantastic. It adds a nice mild heat that lingers in the mouth but adds flavor to an already very good Indian dish. Charlie was actually born in Calcutta and says this is where he spice pallet comes from. We asked if he had anything hotter and he brought us a small sample of his level 3 on a spoon. It had amazing flavor with a hint of star anise and the heat was intense but bearable.
Many drinks later and after being called a few names by the girls sitting beside us at the bar my cousin Kurt and I decided to take Charlie up on his offer of level 4 wings. The level 4 isn’t a sauce, it’s a dry rub which is 70% Ghost Chili, the hottest (well, second hottest, apparently) pepper in the world. To put it in perspective a Jalapeno pepper is somewhere between 3,500–8,000 Scoville units (the scale by which spicy peppers are graded) and the Ghost Chili, also know as the Bhut Jolokia chili pepper, is between 855,000 and 1.5 million Scoville units…so for those keeping score that’s at the very least 106 times hotter than a Jalapeno pepper.
Kurt and I both ate 2 wings very quickly and one of our “encouagers” stepped up to the plate and ate one as well. The heat is intense right off the bat and intensifies quickly. I would say that it took about 10-15 minutes for the heat to start to fade. The crazy thing is I actually considered having another one because they were really good! The
thing about stuff this hot is the weird things it does to your body, you almost feel high or like you’ve drank 100 Red Bulls because your endorphin levels go WAY up, and of course there’s the sweaty head thing…magnified by my Skinheadia (Folicular impairment).
Next time you go to Big Ridge make sure you sit at the bar, ask if Charlie is there and get some hot sauce on the side of whatever you’re eating, it’s all awesome. Just make sure you know what you’re doing when the shots come out and people start egging you on to try level 4, it hurts, but it hurts so good.