I had a kitchen disaster over the weekend. Following an online recipe, I added a tablespoon of cayenne to a crock pot of rice and veggies. The recipe actually called for TWO tablespoons, but at the last minute, I said “that can’t be right” so halved the amount, even though that amount seem excessive to me. Long story short, I should have followed my instincts as it was painful to dump the whole crock pot. It was too hot, even for me and none of my usual tricks could save it.
There wasn’t a lot of hot food in my house growing up. My mom didn’t cook anything Mexican or Spanish that I can remember, nothing Indian or Caribbean that might have had any added heat. I found hot and spicy when I was in college (from the special vegetarian dinner line at school). Since then I’ve been lucky to eat some really hot foods around the world and I love it.
Once, in the early days of learning to love hot foods, I made a critical error. I was with a client in Sedona, Arizona when she spotted a little gift/food shop that she wanted to stop in. The shop had a salsa bar filled with many kinds of salsa, peppers and crackers and chips, as well as a container of little teeny sample spoons and a sign that said “Try Me”. One of the salsa was called “Habanero” which I had never heard of at the time. Knowing I probably wouldn’t be buying anything, I didn’t want to eat a lot of chips so I just put a good dollop of the salsa on a little spoon and popped it straight into my mouth. Suffice it to say, it was much hotter than I was expecting; my throat burned a bit, I got flushed and dizzy and I had to go outside and sit down on a bench for a bit.
I haven’t had a reaction that severe since, although to be honest, I’ve never been stupid enough again to put something in my mouth that I wasn’t really sure what it was!
When has it been too hot for you?