July 1, 2022

Cazuela’s Mucho Macho Burrito Challenge

I tried the Cazuela’s Mucho Macho Burrito Challenge so that you don’t have to.

I am pretty new to food challenges. The last challenge I attempted was more than five years ago. I was at a gift shop in Puerto Rico and they had their own spicy sauce and you could get a certificate that said “Master of Pain” on it if you finished a spoonful. 

Considering that I have said certificate up on my wall at home, I was pretty confident in my ability to handle the heat from food when I volunteered to try this burrito for the Chimes. I’m realizing now how naive I was.

I did a little bit of research on how to survive spicy food challenges beforehand, and one big aspect that was brought up was how important it is to try to build up tolerance. 

Not putting much thought into it I simply started putting sriracha in my sandwiches and deemed that sufficient. 

I also planned to brush my teeth before the challenge as I heard that the chemicals in toothpaste can block your taste buds. 

Lastly, I planned to drink a Coke right before because I read that coke has a very close pH value to stomach acid so my thought was that it would help protect the lining of my stomach.

Even though I brushed my teeth right before I left, it took me 20 minutes to drive there and 10 to find parking. So even if the toothpaste would have helped, the last of it got washed away with the coke that I drank.

With all that out of the way, let’s get to my experience in attempting the challenge. First off, the guidelines to the challenge were that I had 20 minutes to finish from the first bite taken and if I finished it all in 20 minutes, I would get a free t-shirt and the burrito for free. 

When the burrito got to my table, it was huge. It is definitely worth the $12 that they charge for it (that is if you fail the challenge). It is also covered in a very spicy sauce so unless you want to get your hands coated, you’re gonna want to eat it with a fork and knife.

I cut off the front, took a bite, and was immediately met with a large amount of heat. As I said, they start the time as soon as the plate hits the table so you do not really have time for the burrito to cool temperature-wise. 

After downing the first bite I could tell it was just going to get worse from there so I tried to get as much down as I could until my body begged me for water.

After a few bites, I realized that I truly had no idea what I was in for. It felt like my mouth was screaming in pain as I chewed on the chicken.

Swallowing didn’t really help either. It took the pain from my mouth and placed it into my stomach which caused me to start drinking large amounts of water.

It got to the point where I would eat a bite and drink and have a cup of water which was not the best for finishing the burrito in 20 minutes. 

Around the 10 minute mark, I ran to the bathroom. I had made it halfway through the burrito but it was starting to come back up. It took a few minutes to clear my stomach but I felt much better afterward.

By the time I was back at the table, I only had two minutes left so I knew I wasn’t going to make it so I tapped out. The free meal and t-shirt were torn away from me.

Even a few days after, I’m still feeling the effects in my gut. 

Parken finished with challenge. Photo by Carter Campbell.

This article is a warning. Do not attempt this challenge unless you are super confident in your ability to handle spice. I came in super prideful, but in the end, it blew up in my face…literally. 

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