One Tribune reporter’s challenge to eat the world’s hottest chile pepper didn’t go as smoothly as he might have hoped.

Unless a trip to the Emergency Room is included in your definition of “smooth.”

Tribune “Street Beef” guy Cody Bloomsburg opted to take on Pullman-based chile pepper enthusiast and YouTube sensation Ted “The fire breathing idiot” Barrus Saturday night in a competition to find out who could withstand the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion.

The pepper was only last week declared the hottest pepper on the planet by researchers at New Mexico State University.


But it was still a surprise for Bloomsburg when several glasses of milk couldn’t stop the vengeful vegetable that USA Today said topped 1.2 million units on the Scoville heat scale. The experience in our newspaper’s basement break room eventually prompted Bloomsburg to spew the pepper, and later go to St. Joseph Regional Medical Center for treatment.

Despite the ER trip, Bloomsburg is now doing “pretty alright.” He’s already working on a column based on the experience that will appear in next Monday’s Tribune.

In the meantime, check out the scenes Tribune photographer Barry Kough captured of the experience. We'll post the entire video next Monday with Bloomsburg's column.

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