What’s the Paqui One Chip Challenge?
Paqui is the maker of the Carolina Reaper Chip. It’s a single chip – yes, one chip – that comes in a coffin-shaped box. The powder on the chip contains the hottest pepper known, the Carolina Reaper, hence the name, which holds the Guinness world record for its certified 1,569,300 Scoville Heat Units.
To put the Reaper’s spiciness in perspective, a typical jalapeño is just 2,500-8,000 Scoville. If you’ve ever eaten a scotch bonnet pepper, they can land anywhere between 100,000-350,000 Scoville. So, needless to say, the Carolina Reaper is one hot pepper.
The challenge created by Paqui comes with the instructions to film yourself eating the entire chip, wait as long as possible before eating or drinking something else, and then post the video of your reaction on social media – or else it never happened, right? By including the hashtag #onechipchallenge, others can find your video, and you can see how others fared as well. The Paqui One Chip Challenge entry fee is simply the price of the chip, $6.99.
Paqui started the challenge with limited availability in 2016, and thanks to its popularity, they decided to bring it back annually. While no one holds an official One Chip Challenge record, some challengers say they’ve waited hours before ingesting something cooling like milk, ice cream, or water.
Since the challenge is to film yourself, plenty of entertaining content is available, including actors Kristen Bell and Micheal Peña taking the challenge on the Ellen Show and YouTuber Sean Evans of Hot Ones eating the chip with rapper Lil Yachty.
How Exactly Hot is the One Chip Challenge?
While the Scoville rating for the One Chip Challenge tortilla itself is unavailable, the much-anticipated 2021 chip is different from other years. That’s because it contains both Carolina Reaper Peppers that are around 1.7 million Scoville, in addition to Scorpion peppers that are about 1.5 million Scoville. It’s their spiciest chip so far. The rest of Paqui’s super-spicy yet equally tasty chips are nothing compared to their Carolina Reaper Chip, including their Haunted Ghost Pepper Chips.
Brand Manager Caitlin Moralic told Cision PR Newswire, “I can officially stand by the saying ‘less is more.’ While this year’s challenge has the least number of peppers yet, fans should be warned not to underestimate the Scorpion’s instant sting and the Reaper’s gradual, spicy misfortune.”
How can you prepare to take the One Chip Challenge?
A tasty way to prepare yourself for the One Chip Challenge is to try some of Paqui’s other chips that range in heat, from Mucho Nacho Cheese to Haunted Ghost Pepper.
Before doing the challenge, you’ll want a pair of gloves to hold the chip, as getting any powder in your eyes or other sensitive areas is extremely painful. Remove the gloves immediately after to avoid touching anything. If gloves are unavailable, keep soap and water accessible to wash your hands immediately after handling the chip. It may not seem like a big deal until you actually experience it, which you really, really want to avoid.
Keep water, milk, or ice cream close by, as they can help calm the heat in your mouth and throat. Avoid consuming carbonated drinks before and during the challenge. Also, grab something like a towel or handkerchief to wipe your forehead, as you’ll likely start to sweat once the heat kicks in. Some recommend a supply of soft toilet paper in the bathroom as you may be using it quite a bit afterward, but that one is kind of self-explanatory. Avoid eating it on an empty stomach as well; otherwise, the side effects may be worse.
If you’re still struggling, you can take a nap and sleep off some of the symptoms, as even the official Paqui Spice Council takes a week off between each taste test. All joking aside, if you do happen to deal with difficulty breathing, fainting, or extended nausea afterward, make sure to seek medical attention.
Ideally, you should avoid taking the challenge at night or before work or school day.
Can you die from the One Chip Challenge?
No known deaths have occurred as a result of the One Chip Challenge. However, the chip comes with a warning: “Do not eat if you are sensitive to spicy foods, allergic to peppers, nightshade, or capsaicin, or are pregnant or have any medical conditions. Keep out of reach of children. After touching the chip, wash your hands with soap and do not touch your eyes or other sensitive areas. Seek medical assistance should you experience difficulty breathing, fainting, or extended nausea.”
Participants are warned not to take the chip lightly; even though it smells fruity, the spice sneaks up on you.
Wanna try it out? The 2021 Paqui One Chip Challenge will be available on GoPuff!
If you’ve read the warnings and still want to try the One Chip Challenge, you can order the Carolina Reaper Chip right to your door with GoPuff.
To recap the Paqui One Chip Challenge rules:
- Eat the entire chip.
- Wait as long as you can to eat or drink anything.
- Post the video of your reaction on social media with #onechipchallenge and also mention @paquichips and @gopuff.
So, what say you? Are you ready to take the One Chip Challenge? If so, step right up, order your chip, prep that camera, and whatever you do, don’t fear the Reaper.