Last weekend with what seemed like the entire population of Western Australia, I headed down to Fremantle for the Annual Chilli Festival. Fremantle is the beautiful port city of Perth and I was marvelling at how popular the Chilli Festival must be due to our inability to get a sardine spot on a train or a carpark. When a massive funnel presented itself at the dock it became apparent that the Queen Mary 2 was in for the day and there was a football game on as well. But back to the Chilli Festival. I am not good with chilli’s but I like the idea of them plus our friends at the Wild Swan Distillery were ‘swanning’ their wares. One of the first sights that assailed us was the staggering figure of a man who had tested his limits and was being bundled into the ‘chilli ambulance’. The ambulance was doing a roaring trade too. Who knew? With this in mind we did the rounds of the festival and attempted chutneys, sauces, kransky, salami and chocolate. I decided to skip the chilli cupcakes and chilli beer though. I am willing to give any food a go if I know there is a health benefit, in fact it is probably my duty given what I do for a living. But I will have to look elsewhere as my tolerance is really pathetic. For those of you who do like chilli, its all good news. Red chilli’s in particular contain high amounts of Vitamin C and carotene with the yellow and green varieties containing lesser amounts. Capsaicin is the substance responsible for the intensity of chilli’s when ingested or applied (I think that refers to when you forget you have been chopping chilli and rub your eye…..). The actual heat of chilli peppers is measured in Scoville heat units (SHU) which is the number of times a chilli must be diluted in water to lose its heat. I am guessing the chilli plants that were padlocked in a jail cell in the middle of the festival had clocked up the old heat units and were a clear danger to society. The other handy aspect of chilli’s is their ability to increase your metabolism for 2-3 hours after you have eaten them. Any experiences you would like to share?