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BEST WINGS Minneapolis 2010 - Girvan Grille

The thing with wings is that they're actually about a different part of the anatomy: cojones. Those who indulge in the spiciest ones say that, in doing so, they experience a certain euphoria, likely due to a testosterone surge spurred by defeating something life-threatening. The best local spot for testing your hot-wing mettle is Girvan Grille, in a castle-like structure at the Edinburgh Golf Course in Brooklyn Park. It looks as if it might have a cemetery out back for disposing of those who lose the Ghost Wing Challenge, which requires eating 10 wings in 15 minutes without drinking or eating anything else. The sauce on these Ghost Wings is made with the bhut jolokia, or ghost pepper, whose sky-high Scoville rating ranks it the hottest chile on the planet. The things are seriously dangerous: India's defense department is developing ghost-pepper-based hand grenades to control rioters. The surprising thing about Girvan's wings is their complexity of flavor, as most extremely spicy dishes tend to lack nuance. The sauce at first tastes a little woodsy, then slightly fruity, with hints of campfire and paprika. After those blissful few seconds, though, the ghost pepper begins its scary crescendo, blazing past the lips and mouth before settling in the stomach. You might chug water, pound a beer, or down a ramekin of ranch dressing, but it won't do much to ease the pain. You just ate an ingredient in hand grenades, remember?

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If you want to know how hot your hot sauce is, look on the label for hot sauce Scoville ratings. Scoville ratings tell you how hot the sauce is based on 0-5,000 for mild all the way up to 300,000 for extreme. A hot sauce Scoville rating for a bottle of Tabasco is 5,000.

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