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It Burns

The Scandal-Plagued Race to Breed the World’s Hottest Chilli
Narrated by: Marc Fennell
Length: 2 hrs and 50 mins
Categories: Home & Garden, Food & Wine
4.6 out of 5 stars (302 ratings)

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Summary

Winner of the Silver Narrative/Documentary Podcast Trophy at the 2020 New York Festivals Radio Awards
Nominated for the 2019 Rose D’Or award for Audio Entertainment

Please note: contains mature themes and graphic imagery.

Written and hosted by Marc Fennell, It Burns is the story of a 10-year scandal-plagued international competition that will take listeners from the Australian Coast to South Carolina (via an Indian Research Facility).

It’s a war filled with larger than life characters. There will be sledging, accusations of cheating, theft and performance enhancing drugs. And allegations that Australia was cheated out of a Guinness World Record. In the process of charting the scandal-plagued race to breed the world’s hottest chilli, the audio documentary lifts the lid on the subculture of ‘Chilli-heads’, hardcore chilli fans spread across the globe who compete in chilli eating and breeding competitions.

The internet is filled with videos of grown men being reduced to tears by a square millimetre of chilli. The docu-series asks: what motivates someone to breed and eat a demonic nugget that is so hot it no longer has flavour? At what point does this stop being cuisine and start being an endurance sport?

This humorous series shows that all this has never really been about chilli. It’s been about how people use pain to shape themselves, define themselves and make themselves feel alive.

This is an Audible Original Podcast. Free for members. You can download all 5 episodes to your Library now.

©2019 Audible Australia Pty Ltd. (P)2019 Audible Australia Pty Ltd.

Critic reviews

"A cheerful, Aussie version of Louis Theroux, [Marc] roams around the globe and digs deeper and deeper into a subculture that, while merely a tad eccentric on the surface, conceals some much murkier goings-on." (Times T2)

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What listeners say about It Burns

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Absolutely (& admittedly unexpectedly) fascinating...

It’s possible I would now listen to just about anything that has Marc Fennel’s name on it. I picked this title on a whim but actually it’s been extremely well put together, and Marc narrates it in a very natural, warm way that at times, made me laugh just because he clearly has a funny, warm personality. The story tiptoes carefully into unexpected and genuinely interesting territory, and then starts asking some very candid questions. Please Audible, ask him to do more stuff because I’ll be recommending this to anyone who’ll listen!

5 people found this helpful

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better than I thought it would be

brilliant narrator, interesting interviews and funny stories. A must listen if you like hot sauce

5 people found this helpful

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I dare you to listen

A fascinating adventure into one of the worlds most potent ingredients. Brilliantly presented and at times too hot to hear.

3 people found this helpful

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Great Listen

Mark Fennell is such a natural host. I'm not at all interested in peppers but this was addictive.

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Wasn’t expecting to enjoy this so much!

Was recommended by an Australian colleague of mine. A really interesting look at a subculture I’d never considered! Well worth a listen!

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Great Documentary

If you like you're chillies then this is definitely one to listen to. Very well presented with some disturbing facts about competing to grow the hottest chilli

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wow not what you are expecting

it's not what you are expecting . very well written and maid. well worth to lissen.

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  • 26-08-19

Enjoyed every second of it

Once again Marc Fennell enlightens the world with his inquisitive and thought provoking nature. In almost every interview I've seen him give the interviewee will respond with a "that's a really good question". Marc has a calming way of telling stories, and this one about chilis is so unsuspecting, yet so gripping and enjoyable to follow.

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Unexpected at every turn. an excellent piece!

Excellent blending of a good story, some facts and a truly creative narrative. I listened to it on a whim and was enthralled.

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Too hot to handle?

this is funny. I love spicy food so I'm finding it very interesting hearing about the hottest jalapeños .

1 person found this helpful