Visitors to this year’s Tall Ships Festival in Greenport were invited to spice up their 4th of July at Greenport Fire’s ‘Death Row’ showcase.
Greenport Fire staffer Lucas Hunt said that ‘Death Row’ is the local cigar and hot sauce shop’s take on the ‘execution station,’ a similar challenge at the New York Hot Sauce Festival.
“We’re here to promote the new super-hot peppers that Greenport Fire is bringing to the community,” he said.
For $10, contestants tasted a variety of sauces, ranging from zesty in flavor to progressively spicier. The seventh sample was a puree of the Carolina Reaper pepper, which, according to the Guinness Book Of Records, is the hottest in the world.
Contestants who could stomach all seven sauces were awarded with a T-shirt and Greenport Fire bloody mary mix.
Stephen DeCarlo, 26, from Chicago, was the first to step up to the challenge.
“I was actually talking with my friends about how much I love hot sauce yesterday,” he said. “I saw the challenge and I’m all about trying new things. The ‘reaper’ one at the end was a killer, but definitely my favorite.”
Zack Lindberg, 24, another patron of the challenge, said that the first variety, a tangy New Zealand blend was his favorite.
“I decided to take the challenge because I’m from California so I should be able to handle the heat,” he said. “At the end I wanted nothing more than some ice cream and to end the burn.”
Greenport Fire is located at 125 Main St, in Greenport.
Photo credits — Top: The display at Greenport fire. Bottom: Lucas Hunt gives Stephen DeCarlo a sample. Photos by Kendall Stark.