I found some good reading material in the form of a brochure on last week's Habanero Hamburger outing to The Prince of Wales Pub. We talked to the owner briefly, and he told us he has a huge fridge at his house, always stocked full of habanero beauties. I proudly (dumbly?) consumed almost 1/4 of a Habanero Hamburger that was shared amongst four of us. We all wimped out, and left behind a spoonful of bright, red habanero on the plate. Jack'd surely be disappointed.
The brochure reads:
"Jack Curry, owner of The Prince of Wales Pub and longtime chili cook, began reading about the Habanero Pepper as he researched chiles for his award winning chili. After a panel of sixteen 'tasters' confirmed the legendary heat level was for real, the Pub's 'Habanero Hamburger' was first created in September 1992.
Billed as the 'World's Hottest Hamburger!?' (submitted to the Guinness Book of World Records) the Prince of Wales Pub requires each customer to first fill out a 'release form', but afterwards they receive the coveted 'I Survived The Habanero Hamburger' bumper sticker. Those not finishing the burger are part of the 'Perry Percentile', named after the first customer not to finish the burger (a whimpy Texan). Those eating all of the burger can join the ranks of Richard 'King of The Habaneros' Whiteley and Joe Recto, who each consumed five Habanero Hamburgers at one seating.
The Habanero Hamburger begins with a generous 1/3 lb. patty marinated with 'Windsor Burger' sauce, grilled to your liking. Massage in Jack's Habanero Sauce (fresh and/or powdered Habaneros) and served on a large garnished toasted bun. Have a cold beverage and remember - No whimpering!...
Habanero Facts & Lore
Habanero means 'from Havana' although it is not now grown in Cuba (the Dominican Priest Francisco Ximenez wrote in 1722 of a chile from Havana so strong that a single pod would 'make the bull unable to eat.'). It is widely grown in the Yucatan and throughout the Caribbean where it is known as the 'Scotch Bonnet' or the 'Bahama Mama' in the Bahamas.
Small and Innocuous looking, the habanero is uncontested as the hottest pepper in the world, the mother of all peppers. As one habanero lover puts it, 'When you chop, it smells good, and it entices you to eat.' But when you do, 'It feels like your lips are going to fall off.' Afterward you feel good (hot peppers are thought to trigger the release of endorphins, powerful chemicals in the human body that elicit a feeling of well being. One food writer calls it 'culinary skydiving.' It is said that you go temporarily deaf after eating a habanero so that you cannot hear your own screams.' "
Prince of Wales Pub, 106 E. 25th Avenue (near the race track), San Mateo, CA 94403. T: 650.574.9723.