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Fifth annual chilli festival a red hot success

PUBLISHED: 11:27 05 August 2019 | UPDATED: 11:27 05 August 2019

The hottest chilli eating contest at Lowestoft Chilli Festival. Photo: Mick Howes

The hottest chilli eating contest at Lowestoft Chilli Festival. Photo: Mick Howes

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This weekend's fifth annual Lowestoft chilli festival was a red hot success according to the event's organiser.

Competitors in the hottest chilli competition were not allowed water or milk until the end of the contestt. Photo: Mick HowesCompetitors in the hottest chilli competition were not allowed water or milk until the end of the contestt. Photo: Mick Howes

On Saturday, August 3, hundreds of people attended the Royal Green in Lowestoft to try out a range of mild to wild chillis.

Jason Oliver, the event's organiser, said: "This is the fifth year of the festival and the fourth on the royal green. We have some of the finest sauces in the country.

"We also do the blind chilli sauce awards, the only blind tasting chilli sauce awards in the UK. All of those sauces come from 25 different producers across the country, they're all independent.

There were dozens of stalls to try different strength and flavour chillis, a chilli dog eating contest and a maximum heat chilli contest.

Competitors worked up from 'mild to wild' heat chillis in the contest. Photo: Mick HowesCompetitors worked up from 'mild to wild' heat chillis in the contest. Photo: Mick Howes

Mr Oliver said: "They're fantastic. Chillis have always been a big part of my life. When I was a kid my dad gave me a chilli chutney and I put a dent in the top of his car and it went from there. I've been fascinated by chillis for a lot of years.

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"I grew too many chillies one year, I was dehyrdrating them as fast as I could, and I was running out of space to store them. I though I have to do something so I made a sauce which I call Devil's Demise 3, which is almost certainly, undisputably, the hottest all-natural chilli sauce in the world."

The festival gave Lowestoft a taste of the best chillis from around the world.

Aidan Peake, winnier of the Chilli firedog challenge with Sally Pitcher. Photo: Mick HowesAidan Peake, winnier of the Chilli firedog challenge with Sally Pitcher. Photo: Mick Howes

Mr Oliver said there is a huge chilli community, and it's brilliant to bring the event to Lowestoft again.

"I've been in the community for five or six years, the scene is hug and we all support each other."

When asked what the quirkiest thing he had seen someone do with chillis, Mr Oliver said he saw someone prepare fluid for a vape using the hot peppers.

"I don't see that coming to Lowestoft's vape stores any time soon!"

Matt Cruse, centre, winner of the chilli eating contest for the fourth year running. Photo: Mick HowesMatt Cruse, centre, winner of the chilli eating contest for the fourth year running. Photo: Mick Howes

Mr Oliver said he's looking forward to next year's event already, which he hopes to prepare in collaboration with the powerboat racing championship which it coincided with this year.

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