Annual festival a hot attraction

Annual festival a hot attraction

Daniel and Sharron Shardlow with children Zeke and Tenaya at this year's Araluen Chilli and Herb Festival. Photograph - Richard Polden.

Chilli enthusiasts came in their masses last weekend to taste and experience the beauty of the spicy red fruit. 

The annual Araluen Chilli and Herb Festival was held on February 16 and 17, attracting about 5400 people through the main gates of the botanic park. 

Chief executive Grant Nixon said it was a fantastic event with a great vibe. 

“We found that our special guest Johnny Scoville has a heat resistant mouth and a cast iron stomach,” he said. 

“To see him eat Carolina reapers one after another without showing any side affects was freaky.” 

The long-running festival returned to its original home at Araluen last year after moving to Fremantle for a number of years. 

This year’s festivalgoers had the opportunity to hear from horticulturalist, gardening writer and television presenter Sue McDougall, as well as local chefs about how to best use chillis and herbs. 

A number of stalls were also set up with free tastings of numerous chilli and herb products including chilli mojito ice cream, chilli wine and some of the hottest sauces in the state to purchase and bring to the table at home. 

Photographs – Richard Polden