Amanda, a fellow hot-pepper-lover, reminds me that I have not finished my Hot Pepper series. It is supposed to be a THREE-part series, but I only wrote two parts so far, the introductory (personal) post and answering the question why are peppers hot (quite a popular post of mine, linked and e-mailed around a lot, I noticed) – an evolutionary account from peppers’ perspective.
I still owe you the third part trying to explain why people (at least some people, like Amanda and myself) like to eat hot food. It turned out to be a much more exhaustive area of research (and dispute) than I initially expected so I left it for later, once I have more time and the weather cools off a little bit…but I promise I will write it sooner or later. In the meantime, read what Amanda and her commenters have to say on the subject.
But, as an Intermission, here’s a little more on my personal relationship with hot food:
Indian Tandoori restaurants in the USA are fixing much milder food than their counterparts in the UK.
My initiation to the cuisine was in London (in 1980, I believe). My cousin who lives there and his family took me to a Tandoori restaurant. He told the waiter that I was a novice to which the waiter grinned broadly and brought me a foot-high stack of napkins and an extra glass of water.
Then, we ordered the “mild” stuff for me from the menu. The waiter was still grinning. The food arrived. Bread was hot. Salad was hot. Chicken was hot. Vegetables were hot. I LIKE hot food, but I was crying and quickly depleting my stash of napkins, my two glasses of water and a glass of yogurt.
In the end, my mouth was so numb, I tried the hottest spices they had and could not feel a thing.
Needless to say, I went back to Tandoori restaurants many times since and am quite disappointed that the US version is so mild.
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