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Spiceawar pits best of hot eaters

Some like it hot.

And some like it hotter.

The third Spiceawar spicy foods eating contest is Saturday. Ten contestants are slated to compete in four rounds, which will decide who makes it to the final – er – heat, determining this year’s Spiceawarrior.

“It’s all about bragging rights,” said Patrick O’Halloran, beverage manager at Northern Quest Resort and Casino and one of the organizers of the grass-roots event, which started as a dare.

O’Hallaran challenged Remi de Drousén, the foodie behind the local food and beverage blog SpoCool, to a hot wing-eating contest after one of his posts.

The first official Spiceawar took place in 2010 at The Checkerboard Tavern in Spokane. The second, in 2012, was held at the now-defunct Blue Spark.

The third spicy spectacle takes place at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Saranac Public House, 21 W. Main Ave. It’s free to attend, but organizers will be accepting donations for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, which funds research on the chronic disease which affects the lungs and digestive tract.

The event features free spicy food samples from a variety of vendors. Saranac will also offer a special spicy food menu, with items for purchase, including specially-brewed, heat-packing beers from Seattle’s Fremont Brewing and Missoula’s Big Sky Brewing.

Participating restaurants, bars and other food businesses include Santé Restaurant and Charcuterie, Monterey Café, Doma Coffee Roasting Company, Volstead Act, Brain Freeze Creamery, Spike’s Philly and More, and Beet It Up, a local mobile juice bar.

Of the 10 contestants, two are women. About half have participated in past contests. Last time, only one person finished.

The timed contest is based on a points system. Bonus rounds provide additional point-earning potential. But they can be even more brutal than the regular rounds.

This year, for example, one of the bonus rounds includes eating Peeps, the marshmallow candy, doused with Dave’s Gourmet Insanity Sauce. Its website says it is “the only sauce ever banned from the National Fiery Food Show.”

Sign up to attend Spiceawar on Facebook at events/233432130113767. Or, just show up.

“It’s a hoot,” O’Halloran said.


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