Hot Pepper Eating Contest (Paul Puleo photo credit)
World’s hottest pepper – Dragon’s Breath – awaits the hardiest contestants and promises searing levels of sweat, tears, pain, glory
EASTON, Pa. – Heritage and heat will take center stage at the Easton Farmers’ Market during the next two weekends as the Market celebrates Hispanic Cultural Day (September 16) and hosts its annual Hot Pepper Eating Competition (September 23) at Easton’s riverfront Scott Park.
Hispanic Cultural Heritage Day (September 16)
In honor of National Hispanic Cultural Month and to recognize the diverse heritage of the region’s Hispanic population, the Market will feature Hispanic crafts as well as live music from six-piece Latin band Herencia Jibara (10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.) Foods will include freshly prepared quesabirrias, tamales and elote from Antijitos Latino Restaurant, and empanadas, tacos, chips and guacamole, and chorizo from Tierra de Fuego.
Guest vendor Isasuma, which also has a location at 441 Northampton Street, will be selling unique bags, clutches, earrings, bracelets, rings, necklaces and shoes produced by Colombian artisans. Isasuma’s mission is to support and empower small at-risk artisan communities. They travel and work directly with a small group of entrepreneurial indigenous artisans and small shops in Latin America.
14th Annual Hot Pepper Eating Competition (September 23)
With chile peppers in prime season, the Market will host its 14th annual Hot Pepper Eating Competition at 11 a.m. Two-time defending champion, Kelly Joel Myers (social media hashtag #watchmeburn), will try to make it three blistering wins in a row against other brave souls who willingly set fire to their tongues and torture their digestive tracts to reign as the captain of capsaicin.
A daunting, fiery challenge awaits competitors again in 2023: the pepper for the 10th and final round will be the hottest pepper in the world: Dragon’s Breath. Clocking in at a blistering 2.48 million Scoville heat units, it is 300 times hotter than a jalapeno and more scorching than the famed Carolina Reaper. Last year’s competition ended when Myers bested runner-up Matthew Leto after three tie-breaker rounds that included two Carolina Reapers; followed by two Dragon’s Breath; and then, a Carolina Reaper/Dragon’s Breath combination.
All of the hot peppers in this year’s competition will again be grown by Easton Urban Farm, part of Easton Area Neighborhood Center in Southside. Easton Urban Farm will have a fiery selection of peppers available at its tent for purchase.
Pre-registration for the competition is required at eastonfarmersmarket.com/hot-pepper-eating-competition/. Audience trivia for prizes will occur throughout the competition.
Guest Vendors for the day will be Fraktured Sauces, Kashmir & Ewe, Daughter of the Charm, Knot too Shabby, Antojitos Latino Restaurant, Isasuma, Easton Candle Co.
Holding the title of America’s oldest, continuous open-air market, the Easton Farmers’ Market has been a destination for fresh and locally grown and prepared foods since pre-Revolutionary times. A program of the nonprofit Greater Easton Development Partnership, the Easton Farmers’ Market, presented by Capital Blue, is open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Saturday (May-December) at Scott Park along Larry Holmes Drive.
The EFM features 45+ vendors in the spacious, outdoor setting bordered by the Delaware and Lehigh rivers. The market moved to Scott Park from its longtime home in Centre Square in 2020 to accommodate COVID-19 health protocols.
Free parking for Easton Farmers’ Market will be available in the two lots adjacent to Scott Park, thanks to Riverstar Properties and the Law Offices of Florio-Perrucci. Vendors accept cash, credit, Venmo, PayPal, checks and EBT. Visit eastonfarmersmarket.com for online ordering information for participating vendors.
EFM – as well as the West Ward Market and Highmark Farmstand inside Easton Public Market — welcome Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Additionally, Philadelphia-based The Food Trust (thefoodtrust.org) will double purchases up to $10 through the use of Food Bucks for fruits and veggies when shoppers spend at least $2 using SNAP at all three markets.
Sponsors for the 2023 EFM season include: Capital Blue, Lehigh Valley Health Network, Air Products and Martin Guitar.
About Easton Farmers’ Market
Easton Farmers’ Market (EFM) is a program of the Greater Easton Development Partnership (GEDP) and part of Easton’s Market District. EFM is America’s longest continuously-running open-air market. It is a producer-only market that features fresh, local produce – the vast majority of which is naturally or organically grown. Customers will also find antibiotic and hormone-free, pasture-raised meats, fresh baked goods, and ready-to-eat items. More: eastonfarmersmarket.com. GEDP is a volunteer-driven, nonprofit organization focused on Easton’s economic well-being, historical integrity, vibrant culture, and hospitality. More: eastonpartnership.org.
Information provided to TVL by:
Michael Drabenstott (for GEDP)
Drabenstott Communications Group