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Do Not Try This Ever

June 11, 2019

There were a few people who read yesterday’s post and reached out about the cliffhanger ending. For those who may have missed it and don’t have the time to read a second post, I’ll repeat the last line from yesterday.

“Later that day was almost a nightmare. I was lucky and dodged a figurative bullet. But that’s another story.”

For the record, I’m going to blame Steve N. He doesn’t blog as often as he should, but he’s incredibly active over on Yelp. While he loves pizza with a passion, he’s also an insatiable heat seeker. When wings are ordered hot, they are never truly hot enough to satisfy. We’ve eaten together all around the region, and I only recall two other times when he found something to be actually spicy. One was a hot pepper condiment at Taj of Glenmont, and the other was a Thai dish ordered at the top of the heat scale at Tap Asia on Lark Street.

The reason why I hold him to blame is that his love and interest in hotter foods has been infectious. And over the past year and change, I’ve been more actively exploring fiery Thai, Indian, and Sichuan dishes. More importantly, I’ve been really enjoying the experience.

Well, there’s a place in New Lebanon New York called M&M’s Tap and Tavern, which is supposed to have the hottest wings bar none. And Steve thought it would be a good idea to assemble a few people to split an order of the things. Despite my better judgement, I decided to tag along. But things didn’t go exactly as planned.

The legendary wings at M&M Tap and Tavern are called the Perfect 10. The menu describes them as “Designed to strictly cause pain. A blend of some of the hottest peppers & sauces creating a ridiculously perfect hot sauce.”

How bad could they be? Our group of four was looking forward to trying them out. But when we tried to order them, the waitress let us know the kitchen was out of the extracts needed to produce this signature dish. Instead, we asked her for the hottest batch of wings they could make with the ingredients on hand.

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What we were served was a fraction of the intensity of the Perfect 10. All the same, one of our dining companions couldn’t make it through one before being struck with a case of hot pepper hiccups, which are apparently a thing. Another struggled to make it through two. I think, in the end, I may have been the surprising victor in the spice tolerance battle.

Granted, I approached these wings with respect and trepidation. I took small bites. Chewed them well. Kept the hot sauce away from my lips as much as possible. Let the heat roll around my mouth. Plus, I took advantage of the super super thick blue cheese dip, and cold crisp carrots. That blue cheese was legendary. But for those taking on the Perfect 10 Challenge, blue cheese isn’t an option.

The Perfect 10 Challenge? Yeah. So this is even stupider than the Perfect 10 wings. The goal is to see if you can eat ten of these legit dangerously hot wings in under ten minutes. But you can’t have anything to drink, nor can you use blue cheese or vegetables. You can’t even use a napkin. Plus, you have to sit there for ten minutes after the task is complete, feeling the increasing pain as the wings travel through your digestive tract.

We were told by one of the cooks that you will continue to feel these things move through you for the next three days.

We were later told by the waitress that when the Perfect 10 wings are prepared, the kitchen staff wears gloves and other protective gear to keep from breathing in the fumes. And when the service staff walk into the kitchen as a batch is being made, they start to literally choke as if someone has set off pepper spray in the vicinity.

Our server also shared an apocryphal tale of a not-so-clever soul who tried to win the Perfect 10 Challenge by plucking off all the meat from the bones using his fingers, and then shoveling it all into his mouth. It sounded clever to me, until she told us of the piercing pain he experienced radiating through his fingertips as a result of so much contact with the sauce.

Let me be very clear. This. Is. A. Terrible. Idea.

Seriously, had I been privy to these facts, I would have skipped this outing entirely. I suppose the problem is that the world of heat seekers is full of such over-hyped claims of hotness that one becomes numb to it over time.

But The Perfect 10 wings are a bad idea. I can’t even think of something comparable. It’s right up there with Fugu. I think I would rather eat raw chicken than attempt to eat even one of those wings. We were told that the owner ate one, and thoughtlessly wiped the sweat away from his forehead with his saucy fingers, which resulted in a welt that lasted for days.

This isn’t food. It’s a weapon.

Those hot wings at M&M were hot enough. They were probably the spiciest thing I’ve ever eaten. And the sentiment was shared by everyone around the table, none of whom was a stranger to intensely spicy foods. Someone described the wings as “angry spicy.” The idea that these were just a mere fraction of the heat level of those Perfect 10 wings was mind blowing.

Which isn’t to say you should try them. You should not. Under any circumstances. Just don’t do it. I’m truly truly happy that I wasn’t able to try. But had they been available, I would have, and I would have absolutely regretted it.

That said, I’m so in love with their blue cheese dip, I would like to return and try the regularly spicy Buffalo-style wings. However, I have to question my deep love for the dip. Is it real, or might it have something to do trauma I endured in its presence? Perhaps we’ll never know.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 11, 2019 10:19 am

    This post is “fire”. I was still feeling those 2 wings on Sunday. I have to say though – that despite being an angry heat, they were tasty. Perfectly crispy and with great blue cheese. I definitely want to come back to try the regular Buffalo style.

    But yes, I think we were very very fortunate that they didn’t have the extract available.

  2. Joel Miller permalink
    June 12, 2019 9:10 pm

    Hiccup, Hiccup. Thanks a bunch Steve. Those wings made me angry alright!

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