So I made it to #5 ("Pyro" - Make a human flamethrower out of yourself. You'll be hotter than a zippo!) at yesterday's Spicy Tuna Handroll Challenge before I got too full to eat anymore. Adrian made it to #6 and one of Zenko's co-workers managed to make it all the way to #7.
Had a pretty good turnout of people coming to cheer us on and participate in the Challenge. So much so that the sushi bar ran out of pre-chopped tuna for the rolls and had to run back and chop up a bunch more.
The handrolls made for the challenge are a pretty good size, and stuffed with a good bit of tuna. I usually don't eat handroll sushi, but they seemed a little short on the rice and heavy on the tuna to me. I'm sure they're made that way on purpose. If you let them sit too long, the nori wrapper gets a little soft and the handroll becomes a little hard to eat without having tuna squirt out the other side. And if you get any sauce on your hands, do not rub them anywhere near your eyes or nose when they start tearing or running.
I started off the Challenge with the first three rolls. Thanks to a small mixup in plate positioning and by the server, I ended up starting with #3 first thinking it was #1 and getting a pretty good sear going in my mouth. For a while I was thinking that if this was #1, I'm going to die by the time I reach #5. With #2, there was much less heat so then I started to realize that I started the rolls backwards.
The amount of heat and spice in each level isn't quite consistent either, although I suppose uniformity might be hard to achieve (and would probably be relative too). There's virtually no heat in #1, a little bit of spice in #2 and a very large jump going to #3. #4 I thought was only marginally hotter than #3 but the jump in heat going to #5 was similar to #2-#3.
So now for the big question: will I finish? The thing about the Challenge rolls is that they're hot (really hot) but I didn't think the hot sauce (allegedly Dave's Insanity Sauce based on what another Challenge partaker who was sitting at the sushi bar told us) brought much in the way of flavour to the party. That makes it just hot for the sake of being hot which for me really isn't that much fun. #5 is about where the flavour ends and the pain takes over.
At this point I'm thinking about leaving it at #5 because I don't see much more fun in going on. If there was more flavour to the sauce I don't think I'd have a problem finishing. Call me a pansy if you will but if I'm going to punish myself with that much heat, I at least want it to taste good.
Pictures later on tonight when I get back to my camera.