I LIKE IT HOT, BABY

Dear friends. After so many posts related to music and live shows, even though I still have many albums of the week pending, I feel like writing about something different again.

First I have to apologize in case you feel disappointed after reading all this, considering the catchy title I’ve chosen for this post. Nope, not talking about sex, at least not now. What can I say? There are so many things which catch our attention by just a glance, I couldn’t miss the chance to try to make you notice me. Yeah! You can call me attention whore this time. I won’t deny.

Few days ago someone threw the question about hot spicy food. To be honest I started developing a taste for hot food about 10 years ago for no reason. It was weird because I couldn’t stand it, truth is that as I grew older, I felt the need of experiencing with stronger tastes.

Some of my previous experiences involving spicy food were remarkable. The most outstanding happened when I was living in London.

Joe, my ex, he did love spices, and also was fan of experimenting with food. We used to live in an Indian neighborhood, where many cheap typical restaurants were available. We are not talking about super cool and fashion Indian restaurants, we are talking about Indians and people from Pakistan who used to hang out those places, implying food was quite traditional. Also note these places weren’t precisely very attractive in their appearance and neatness.

He was very enthusiastic about a place named A1. The restaurant probably had a different name as the label was written in their language, and the only thing we could understand. Anyway, one night I accompanied him reluctantly to have dinner together. Of course I didn’t know what I was having, but it was kind of spinach or dolmas. I couldn’t try the second course. Those damn spinach were the hottest thing I ever tasted and nothing I tried to do was relieving my poor tongue and mouth burning. Even the Pepsi I was drinking tasted hot at some point. I cried and cried, Joe was laughing at me observing my reaction, but the worst thing was my stomachache which lasted for a week. Feeding was just  a torture after 5 minutes, with cramps and this nonstop feeling of nausea. I’ve never visited any Indian restaurant ever since.

As advanced, something changed in me and all of a sudden I found myself delighted by the strong taste of wasabi, pouring Tabasco on my Bloody Mary’s, adding cayenne pepper to everything when cooking, adoring jalapeños, and looking for strong stuff.

I’ve been suffering a bit of writer’s block lately, and especially with this post. I wasn’t very sure about the way to go on with it, but finally I found the solution, one of my favorite, a top 5 spicy shit I love nowadays. Are you ready to burn?

WASABI PEAS

I discovered wasabi together with all these Japanese rolls and felt in love with the taste right away. When I have veggie makis I can’t stop dipping the pieces with it till I start crying and my nose leaking. Wasabi is addictive.

At one of these international markets addressed to foreign residents, mainly Indian and Asian in general, I found these wasabi peas, quite typical in Japan, and even though I’m not very fond of peas, decided to give them a try. Holy shit! What a blast! This apparent harmless snack is hot, and super tasty. The more you eat the hotter it gets. I could eats tons of this.

PIRI PIRI

I bought this small can in Japan more than two years ago, and there’s still some remaining. This piri piri is also named Africans Bird Eye Chili, and is typical in countries such as Mozambique, Malawi, Ghana an others.

First time I added it to some pasta, my tongue was burning, because I exceeded in quantity. You just need a tiny quantity to cheer up your meals. Pretty cool.

JALAPEÑOS

I can’t recall the first time I tried jalapeños. I mistook them for pickles, but as soon as I tasted I realized they were something special. I love jalapeños with cheese nachos, in salads, accompanying hamburgers, in pasta sauce…it doesn’t matter, its texture, appearance and flavor can adapt to be part of many meals. It’s easy to combine.

Best combination would be nachos with jalapeños, guacamole, sour cream and melted cheese. I tried them in Manhattan at Tick Tock Diner, right by Penn Station 5 years ago, and I cried with sincere happiness.

SHAW’S FLAMING HOT CHUTNEY

I went to this typical British food shop for expats, close in my neighborhood, named A Taste of Home, just to have a look and buy those Cadbury Creme Eggs I love so much. in essence everything is triple more expensive than in the UK, but it’s actually great for occasional self-indulgence.

I haven’t tried to prepare homemade chutney yet, which is this sweet and sour strong sauce combined with fruits or vegetables, mixed with spices, mostly to serve with meat or similar (seitan in my case or even pasta). There were lots of different flavors, and started checking them: mango, ginger, curry… Hey! Wait a minute, what is THAT???!

Chilli, red peppers, mustard seeds…oh dear! That’s my kinda thing!

Went to the counter and the lady attendant stares at the jar, then stares at me, then stares at the jar, and eventually she says:

“you don’t want to try this. It’s super hot and you’re gonna hate me for selling you this”.

It took me a while to convince the woman I was purchasing the hot chutney at my own risk, explaining I love spicy food. She sold it reluctantly, and strongly warned me not to pour to much.

Honestly, it looks hotter than it is actually, but the taste is great. Believe me, I ended up the jar spreading the sauce directly in bread. Hell yeah! What a blast!

CAYENNE PEPPER

Nice and easy, one of my favorite condiment. I use it for many many meals. Stewed lentils, pasta sauce, rice, burritos… I need this pinch of hot to achieve the ultimate intensity in flavor. As a vegetarian, I really seek for food to be tasty, and cayenne pepper is perfect for that. I’m so used to it, people always comment the food I cook for the is spicy, yet bearable.

I’d love hearing some of your suggestions. Any particular spice I should try?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s