EYES watering, sweat globules forming on his brow and with his face getting more crimson by the second, a brave contender takes another bite of the hottest pasty in the world.
It contains one of the hottest chillies in the world crushed up into an eye-watering paste and mixed with meat and veg, and was made by the owner of Southwick Stores for a bit of fun.
Rich Shaw has run the village store, near Fareham, since February and inspired by the Man vs Food television programme, he has created some of the most extreme pasties ever made.
Following on from his successful Titan pasty earlier this year – a giant pasty weighing 2.5kg – Rich decided to mark Halloween with a pasty containing Bhut Jolokia, more commonly known as ghost chilli.
He opened up the challenge to his customers, and for just £4 they could take part in the contest in his newly-created tea rooms.
The winners receiving a T-shirt and their pictures and names in a Hall of Fame on the shop wall and on the store’s Facebook page Southwick Stores.
The rules were simple – eat the pasty without any water, milk or yoghurt, during and for five minutes after. Taking on the challenge successfully were regular customers Harry Potter and Haydn Foskett.
Harry, 25, from Denmead, said: ‘It felt like hell. I’m all right now though, but my lips are tingling a bit.’
Harry said he might be tempted to eat another after a couple of days’ rest, but that it was by far the hottest thing he had ever eaten.
‘I had to sign a disclaimer before I ate it, so that says it all,’ he said.
Haydn, 34, from Westbourne, said: ‘When you are eating it, it’s all right, but afterwards it feels like my mouth is on fire.’
Owner Rich, who made the pasties by hand wearing goggles, gloves and a face mask, said: ‘We’re now claiming to have the hottest pasty in the world.
‘We are a lovely little sleepy village and we have a lovely shop, so we are trying weird and wonderful things to promote it. We are always trying something new.’
Rich wasn’t tempted to take part in the challenge himself. He said: ‘I tried a bit of sauce and that was enough. I’m not really a massive chilli fan.’
Toby Black, 14, watched on in horror. He said: ‘I’m not going to touch it, I know what has gone into it. I like chilli but that is going too far.’