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Test the Limits of Your Spice Tolerance with Nashville Hot Chicken

For years, Nashville’s best-kept secret was their hot chicken. Recently, it has become less of a secret as foodies and spice enthusiasts have been singing its praises all over the Internet.

The fiery fried chicken is so unique and intriguing that it makes a trip to Nashville worth it on its own even without the music hot spots. Nashville hot chicken is appearing on menus across the globe due to its homegrown rise in popularity. But to get the authentic experience, book a trip to Tennessee and try the real thing.

The origin of hot chicken

Believe it or not, Nashville hot chicken predates the Buffalo wing by a few decades. And its origin story is just as spicy as the scorching dish itself.

The story goes like this: In the 1930s, Thornton Prince III’s partner was sick and tired of his constant womanizing and betrayal that she decided to get back at him. One evening when Prince stumbled home with an earful of excuses as to what he’d been up to, she didn’t fight back and instead offered to cook him a meal.

Prince’s girlfriend made him a plate of buttermilk-fried chicken that was covered in what she thought was an extreme amount of cayenne pepper. The plan backfired; Prince absolutely loved it, so much so that he eventually opened up a restaurant just to serve the spicy chicken.

Prince’s: the hot chicken mecca

80 years later, Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack is at the center of a full-blown craze that has infiltrated menus across America and beyond. Even KFC has taken notice and now offers their own version of the dish.

But you can’t get the authentic experience of world travel by visiting Epcot in Disney World, and similarly, you can’t truly say you’ve tried Nashville hot chicken until you try it at the source.

Prince’s offers a few different spice levels, ranging from mild to extra-hot. The restaurant warns strongly against trying the extra-hot unless you really know what you’re doing. And if you dare to brave that inferno, they recommend not touching your skin for a while, and to go ahead and throw a roll of toilet paper in the freezer when you get home.

What’s the appeal of a scorching plate of chicken?

It’s hard to explain why so many keep coming back to hot chicken. It’s a meal that blurs the line between pleasure and pain. You might cry, and you might, ahem, chicken out on finishing your meal, but what’s certain is you will be living a moment that you’ll never forget. And when you come out the other side alive, you feel something akin to a runner’s high.

A bucket list is essentially an index of unforgettable moments that you wish to experience. Take a friend to a place like Prince’s in Nashville, and without a doubt, you’ll have a moment that is worthy of a bucket list.

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