At Olney Farmers Market, some like it hot -- Gazette.Net


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The first-ever hot pepper-eating contest was a smoking success Sunday at the Olney Farmers and Artists Market.

Only three contestants entered, but a large crowd gathered to watch the torture, said Janet Terry, the market’s founder and president.

The winner was Hardeep Chowdhary and the runner-up was Kingston Kodan, both of Silver Spring. The third entrant was Trung Nguyen of Burtonsville.

Participants were allowed unlimited water, but were required to eat each pepper in two minutes or less. They had to chew and swallow each pepper, leaving nothing but the cap.

Each contestant had to consume five peppers, in order from mildest to hottest: jalapeno, serrano, Jamaican hot chocolate, fatali and ghost pepper. The tiebreaker, which was not needed, was a Trinidad scorpion hot pepper.

“Reports are that we had our biggest crowd since [chef] Carla Hall, so we will do it again next year,” said Judy Newton, a market committee member.

Market organizers thanked Homestead Farm, Orchard Breeze Farm, Atwater’s, and the Olney Theater for their support of the contest.

The market’s next special event is the annual chili cook-off Oct. 5.

Contestants need to drop off their entries by 10:30 a.m.; judging begins at 11 a.m. Prizes are to be determined. Bowls of chili will be sold following the judging.

The Olney Farmers and Artists Market is open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sundays on the old Montgomery General Hospital grounds, through Nov. 2. More information is at olneyfarmersmarket.org.

thogan@gazette.net