If it wasn’t surreal enough that the burgh of Langholm in Dumfries & Galloway hosts an annual Chilli Festival, they’ve added an extraterrestrial element to this year’s festivities, which take place on October 23.
Celebrity chef Tony Singh will be cooking at the event and using some of their special space chillies.
The seeds for these fruits were blasted up into the stratosphere, back in 2019, to mark 50 years since the space landing, as well as organiser Visit Scotland’s half century birthday. This involved being strapped to an Highland cow soft toy, named BuzzBo, and lifted off from a weather balloon from Gilnockie Tower in Langholm, the ancestral home of Clan Armstrong, wearing an Armstrong tartan spacesuit, before landing near Cranshaws in the Scottish Borders.
Tony Singh, who is currently running street food pop-up, Radge Chaat, has met this intrepid explorer.
“I was over the moon to meet BuzzBò and have the opportunity to sample the amazing cosmic-chillies sent up from Langholm”, says Tony Singh. “Scotland’s cuisine is already out of this world, but these chillies have cemented this fact. They might even make a debut in our chilli-cheese samosas. I’m looking forward to meeting up with BuzzBò at Langholm Chilli Festival later this month.”
VisitScotland shared the fact that the chillies had gone on this 36km space mission to mark this year’s World Space Week (October 4-10). They’re also celebrating the fact that Neil Armstrong, who has Scottish ancestry, visited Langholm back in 1972, three years after the moon landing, where he became its only Freeman.
This year, the seeds were planted by a member of the Langholm Chilli Club, which consists of 350 enthusiastic growers of these peppers worldwide. Their harvest will be available to view, and eat in Tony’s cooking, at the festival. We imagine they will taste just like regular chillies.
“We hope BuzzBò’s journey to the stars has only added to the astronomical flavour of the chillies and we’re so pleased to support and bring attention to the Langholm Chilli Festival which will provide a welcome boost to the community at this time,” says Paula Ward, Regional Leadership Director at VisitScotland.