Wing world: Testing out the Louis’ hot-wing challenge

By in Culture

With the viral success of YouTube series like First We Feast’s Hot Ones, many people are jumping on the hot-wingchallenge train — and our own Louis’ Pub is no exception.

Jack Thompson takes on the scorpion pepper wing.

The premise of a hot-wing challenge is simple. You’re given an array of wings, each coated with increasingly hotter sauce, and you eat them sequentially — it’s a masochistic thing. Out of my love for Hot Ones, I decided that I needed to try out the Louis’ version.

Tanner Bayne (left) struggles with the heat, while Jack Thompson (right) remains stoic.

Unfortunately, I’m pretty bad at eating hot foods — like, I tear up when I look at Tabasco for longer than five seconds. So, I invited the Sheaf’s own Sports and Health Editor and self-proclaimed spicy boy Jack Thompson to review this hot journey in an empirical way. Here are our thoughts.

1. Sriracha: There’s not much to say about sriracha. It’s tame, ubiquitous and delicious. It serves as a good introduction to the challenge, as it readies your palate for what’s to come. Jack’s thoughts on sriracha sum up this wing.

Jack’s take: “It’s sriracha. You know what you’re doing here.”

2. Frank’s RedHot and sambal: Though spicier than the first wing, this one seemed less hot to me. That being said, I did have a sip of water after this one.

Jack’s take: “It has a lingering chili burn. It’s more of a lip burn.”

3. Fresh jalapeno: Unlike the other two, this was a slow burn — more of a longgame wing, with a heat level that gradually ramped up. Though it hinted at the pain yet to come, I didn’t find it that hard to deal with — and it was pretty tasty to boot. Jack was even more stoic.

Jack’s take: “It’s nice. It’s like putting on a velvet shirt — I’ve never worn velvet in my life.”

4. Sweet Thai and scorpion pepper: Honestly, I thought the Louis’ hot-wing challenge was going to be a write-off up until this point. However, things got real with this wing — like head-spinningly, nose-runningly real. At the time, it was the hottest thing I had ever eaten. In an interesting turn of events, this wing was by far the tastiest of the bunch. For Jack, the previous three wings didn’t set us up for this one.

Jack’s take: “I feel like it was all a prank — fuck. I’m scared for number five. I’m a spicy boy, and that’s a lot to handle.”

5. Scorpion pepper: This wing sucked. There was no taste — just pure pain. It made me finish my second pint, as well as two glasses of water. I tried to cleanse my palate with some fries, but they just felt like pushing glass into my mouth. To give you an idea of the wing’s severity, Jack finally needed to touch his water.

Jack’s take: “I am in pain. It doesn’t stop. It comes in waves. There’s no taste experience with it — just heat. I feel like a spicier boy after that.”

Verdict: All in all, the Louis’ hot-wing challenge was a fun and semi-tasty experience. My chief complaint is the scaling — the first three wings had little difference in heat level, whereas the final two were unbearable.

Nevertheless, I’d recommend doing this with a group of friends or coworkers, as it’s a great team-building exercise. If you plan on doing the Louis’s hotwing challenge, only know this: it’s just as bad the next day.

Tanner Bayne / Culture Editor

Photo: J.C. Balicanta Narag / Photo Editor