SOME of the spiciest chillis in the world were on the menu at the first Oxfordshire Chilli Festival.
More than a thousand people poured through Abingdon Market Place on Saturday, some more adventurous than others.
From 10am, the town centre was filled with stalls selling chillis from around the world, hot sauces and other spicy delicacies.
In the afternoon, Abingdon resident Peter Brown, above, wowed judges in the chilli-eating competition by winning without breaking a sweat.
Chilli fanatic Tony Ainsworth travelled from his Hampshire home to judge the contest and was impressed by what he saw.
Mr Ainsworth, 34, an IT support consultant who goes by the name Darth Naga, said: “It was insane, he was a chilli-eating machine.
“In the final round we pulled out the wild card – a hot sauce called Extreme Prejudice which rates four million on the Scoville scale.”
The scale, named after Wilbur Scoville who created it in 1912, rates the heat of chillis, from 100 for a pimento up to two million for pepper spray.
Mr Ainsworth said: “He just necked it straight away.”
Mr Brown, 28, who lives in Blacknall Road, Abingdon, and won £20 in the contest said: “I told him I would win it straight away.
“I have always loved chillis.”
Charles Salter clearly wishes he hadn’t tried this one
He said his favourite place for spicy food in Abingdon is the Prince of India on Ock Street.
The festival was organised by spicy food fan and mum-of-three Dawn Massam, who lives on Caldecott Road, Abingdon.
The idea was sparked when she was having a conversation with her friend, Mr Ainsworth, in November.
He asked why Oxfordshire did not have a chilli festival, and she pledged on the spot to organise the first.
Ms Massam, 34, mum to Maisie, 12, Oliver, four, and three-year-old Annabel, said: “It was marvellous and surpassed all expectations.”
Robert Foote finds the competition tough going at the first Oxfordshire Chilli Festival as these series of pictures show below.
- Do you want alerts delivered straight to your phone via our WhatsApp service? Text NEWS or SPORT or NEWS AND SPORT, depending on which services you want, and your full name to 07767 417704. Save our number into your phone's contacts as Oxford Mail WhatsApp and ensure you have WhatsApp installed.
11:20am Monday 28th July 2014
What do you think? We welcome letters from our readers on a wide variety of subjects and you can send us a letter through the blue headline above.
Our top stories
9:00am Monday 22nd December 2014
THERE is no longer anywhere cheap to live in Oxford, leaving average earners priced out of the market house prices up to 19 times the media salary, new figures show.
6:00am Tuesday 9th December 2014
December is Advent Calendar time and we have a special new interactive graphic for you each and every day until Christmas Eve. I've chosen the best 24 pictures of 2014 and I'll be unveiling one a day - so what is behind's today's door?
8:00am Monday 22nd December 2014
YOU know you’re starting to go places when you get Christmas cards from Oxfordshire's great and the good. Here's David Cameron's offering but can you guess who is responsible for the other five hidden in our interactive graphic and then read why they chose them
8:00am Monday 22nd December 2014
A NARROWBOAT that has delighted elderly and disabled people with canal trips for more than two decades has sailed her last.
7:00am Monday 22nd December 2014
CANCER campaigner Clive Stone has praised health bosses he once fought against for passing a kidney cancer drug, but pledged to fight for other sufferers.
6:30am Monday 22nd December 2014
MAYOR of London Boris Johnson had a confession to make when he visited Oxford to sign copies of his latest book.