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  • Summary

  • Winner of the Best Audio Program at the 2019 James Beard Awards

    Silver winner of the Best 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.
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What listeners say about It Burns

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marc fennel stuffs great

marc fennel makes all of his presentations fun , dramatic and heartfelt check it out

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Easy and enjoyable listen

Great story told in a fun and interesting way. Binged it all in a day as I wanted to hear what came next.

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Great!

loved it. very interesting stuff . Now I wanna hear more from Fennel. I recommend this .

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Who knew the chilli could be so 'spicy'

This podcast over-delivered on every metric by which one could judge a podcast. Highly enjoyable, a little unpredictable and I even learned a bunch!

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The world of chili peppers

A fascinating look at the competitive world of developing the hottest chili pepper. I learned way more than I needed to know about the little fruit. It is worth a listen. Well done!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2020-09-25

good

nice one .. interesting and must listen best way to listen to good story .

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2020-08-31

nice

nice one .. interesting and must listen best way to listen to good story .

1 person found this helpful

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  • Ange
  • 2020-08-28

Love it

Marc’s storytelling, openness and relatability make this so easy to listen to. As an Aussie living in the USA, it is a pleasure finding Aussie content on the American platform. That and you will always be ‘That movie guy’ to my ears

1 person found this helpful

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  • Lyons House
  • 2021-10-31

Great Story

I initially was interested in this based on Marc’s other podcast “Nut Job”, to learn about chili industry and hottest pepper. Instead this was a great story about human nature.

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  • Vinny (from Wake Forest)
  • 2021-09-29

Surprising and intriguing

Love stuff like this where at first blush it seems like a shallow topic but there are so many dimensions to a seemingly simple thing. The author does a fantastic job at giving everyone a voice with the same unbiased and joyful tone. Well done.

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  • Chris Kennedy
  • 2021-07-11

Very interesting look at the subculture of the Chile/Pepper Community

Marc has a good insight into the psychology behind the obsessive chileheads. I work in mental health and am also a member of the PLC (Pepper Lovers Community). I think he nails several factors that draw people into the pepper community. Culture, Ego, Trauma, Testosterone, etc... I have observed in our groups everything he talks about and thought his podcast is spot on. However, it does largely focus on the extremes of the pepper world.

Perhaps another series on the history of chiles in our culture would be something he might consider. One thing I have loved about all my gardening has been learning about the history and backstories of what I am growing - something mentioned by Jim Duffy in this series.

This was definitely enjoyable and highly interesting to listen to if you have an interest in either chiles or psychology!!

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  • Ron
  • 2021-02-26

Surprised

This was way better than expected. A great listen that takes you across the globe, history and the human condition.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2020-09-01

good

nice one .. interesting and must listen best way to listen to good story .