Age 6: watching my Mexican aunt (by marriage) consume whole hot peppers from a bowl as she watched television. How cool is that?

Age 10: one of the cocky, melodramatic neighborhood girls insisting so hard that she could handle whatever degree of hotness that my father, the consumate lesson-teacher that he is, finally gave her (age 9) a cerrano pepper from our garden. She put the whole thing in her mouth and bit it whole off the stem. She chewed for perhaps a second and then I will never forget her facial expression. Loony Tunes cartoons of red-faced people with steam coming out of their ears could not do her expression justice. Much "extreme" action then ensued, ending with my father literally having to chase her down, pry her mouth open with his hands and dump milk and salt in.

Age 13: London - let's just say that despite my love of ethnic food, I was not quite ready for real East Indian curry at this age and my poor father was forced to consume a lot of very hot food that I insisted on trying (Italians don't leave food on plates, it's just not done). Sidenote: do not force your father to eat lots of spicy food and then get trapped in a teeny tiny hotel room with him.

Age 25: Prague - going for curry with a ton of friends at this new East Indian place. I watched a violinist named Adam order something called a "vindaloo." When the dish came out, I wanted to try it. He said it wasn't for the faint of heart, so I took a toothpick and dipped it in the sauce on his plate. That one toothpickfull convinced me that, hard core as I like to think of myself, I will never be tough enough to eat a vindaloo.

Age 28: A friend who wanted to convince me to have sex with him and his wife wanted to take me to dinner. I love the Ethiopian restaurant near my house, so I suggested we go there. We arrived and then he told me I could order, but that he didn't like spicy food and was really more a fan of stuff like bread and milk. Right then and there, I told him that a man who didn't like to be adventurous with food wouldn't be able to convince me to do anything involving sexual intercourse. I have my standards.



Blogger gautami tripathy said...

I agree. Stick to your standards.

Vindaloo is one stuff even some Indians can't bear to have! But I love it!

9:18 a.m.  
Blogger Tammy said...

Delightful journey of your spicy memories Tania.

10:54 a.m.  
Blogger Paul said...

Its always annoyed me when people say something is too hot for the flavours to come through "so hot you can't taste it". I've had some things that were too too hot but even then the taste was there (like if someone smelled so bad that you couldn't see what they looked like). Taste and heat may be complementary but one doesn't cancel out the other.
And like you, I also do not trust those who do not partake of the capsicum. I can live without many things but peppers are a constant. Not too mention one of the only foods,if not the only capable of kickstarting the endorphin factory.

11:06 a.m.  
Blogger daisies said...

:) loved your spicy stories hon ... mmmmm vindaloo ...

2:18 p.m.  
Anonymous devon said...

now wait a second... does this mean all your hitting on me and my practicing being coy is for naught? While I try new foods - mostly thanks to Catherine - I don't like many of them. Is it willingness or acceptance you're looking for?

5:02 p.m.  
Blogger DJPare said...

Good standards!

And damn, how freakin hot must the vindaloo be!!

6:05 p.m.  
Blogger tania said...

Thanks everybody for the compliments. I hereby decree that you all rock.

Let me tell you, I feel awfully proud that I didn't let this get too pornographic - I mean come on, spicy at small perversions?

I think I'm growing into a more well rounded, if still sexuality obsessed, person.

8:07 a.m.  
Blogger tania said...

oh and devon, it's all about the willingness - a sense of adventure that you definitly have.

8:08 a.m.  
Blogger Becca said...

Good stuff, Tania!
(Though I have to say--I am one of those people for whom, at a certain point, all I can taste is hot. Like someone who wears too much perfume, and suddenly you can't smell aything else. You can still see, but that's all you smell.)

6:53 a.m.  

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