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My mouth is on fire! Memorable spicy food moments. [moved from Not About Food]

I’m a spicy food lover from birth. I especially love hot peppers and put them on just about everything. I do a lot of home canning and have an eager crowd of tasters who await their jar of peppers during canning season.

On this particular occasion I brought a couple of jars to a get-together. I explained that one was medium hot and the other one was a flame-throwing, habanero hot.

Taster A says, “Gimme the hottest you got! You can’t make it hot enough for me.”

Taster B says, “He can eat the hot stuff like you wouldn’t believe.”

So we crack open the habanero jar and Taster A start throwing peppers on everything: crackers, burgers, beans, you name it. After a few minutes he starts clearing his throat, then coughing, eyes watering, nose running, turning red, and sweating profusely. I thought he was gonna explode! He then vanishes from the room leaving a vapor trail like a cartoon character.

After about 20 min he sheepishly returns and Taster B says, “That’s what you get for doing all that braggin!”

I know there’s some Hounds out there that have some spicy food stories to share. Let’s hear ‘em!

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  1. I am not sure why some men seem to have the "the hotter I can handle, the more macho I am" gene, but I have seen it at work many times. It's always a hoot!
    One gathering, we were one of two couples dining out, and decided to go to an Indian place. Well, SO decided he wanted it spicy, and the other guy sorta upped the ante a bit, so they badgered the waiter into making it "full" spicy hot. The other woman and I just rolled our eyes. Sure enough, the dishes they ordered were blisteringly hot. In fact they could not get past the first bite. In an exchanged looked, the other woman and I sealed the deal that we were not sharing our delicious dishes with anyone. The guys deserved to be hungry as well as having to watch us eat and enjoy our meal.

    12 Replies
    1. re: Quine

      Or maybe some of us are wired so that we like spicy. I've never had something I found *too* hot. That's not machismo; I don't give a fig about showing off--which is why I have hot sauce for use when I'm not with other people. I just like it hot. And my tolerance is enough that high heat doesn't blow out the other flavors for me.

        1. re: Scott_R

          but other people do show off and then are proven to be chili-intolerant.

          1. re: Scott_R

            It seems to be a largely American things--I haven't seen it in other countries. In Chile, where the food is less spicy than the US (yes, really), no one brags about liking or withstanding very spicy food. There is none of this competition about it. I have seen that in the US where some guy starts to turn the eating of spicy things into the contest. I have never seen this in South America, Germany, Italy, Greece, Poland.

            1. re: Wawsanham

              I've seen it in Germany. There even is a currywurst stand in Berlin claiming to have the hottest currywurst in town.

              Might be a rather recent development, tho, given the general mildness of German cuisine.

              1. re: linguafood

                except the horseradish-heavy mustard I got ahold of by accident at a stand on the Hohestrasse in Köln, which left me standing in the street gasping for breath while tears ran down my cheeks (but man, I could BREATHE!) LOL

                Not a pepper hot, but not to be trifled with, either.

                1. re: sunshine842

                  Ve Germans do like our horseradish and mustard to be rather on the spicy side.

                  I love all the different sources of hotness - all of them.

                  1. re: linguafood

                    Incidentally, the Thai restaurant I mention downthread was *also* in Köln (so much amazing food in that city...!!)

                2. re: linguafood

                  OK, maybe at some stands--I certainly haven't been everywhere. But, I've generally not seen it when people get together to eat--then of course the food isn't HOT. Of course, there might be some spicy mustards, horseradish, the occasional currywurst--and these would be hot by Chilean, Argentine, or Brazilian standards--consequently, possibly, making German cuisine overall hotter than those.

                3. re: Wawsanham

                  There are tons of video posts from all over the world with people eating Trinidad Scorpion Butch T s, Naga Viper Pepper,Bhut Jolokia and many other super hot varieties so it really is not just an American thing.

                  1. re: Wawsanham

                    It's a competition for some, not all. I have never had the urge to take part in a spicy food contest. I simply like spicy food.

                    1. re: Wawsanham

                      It happens in the UK. My brother and his friends egged each other on to eat a sample of some ghost chilli relish at a market stand. It was... spectacular. I've never seen a bunch of young men turn so scarlet and bug-eyed and start clutching their throats before.

                      The guy at the next stall was selling yoghurt smoothies and doing a -roaring- trade. I joked with him that it was clearly worth the extra he slipped the organisers of the market to place him next to the chilli relish stall. He smirked and nodded :P

                4. I like my food with a little kick so often add chili flakes and have a bottle of Siracha in the fridge.
                  But....one day I went to an Asian restaurant and ordered a spicy dish. Looked and smelled good. Took one bite and nearly passed out. It felt like I had lit a match and placed it in my mouth. No flavor, no anything...just fire and pain, and no way to put it out.

                  I also don't understand the popularity of canned chapotle in adobo sauce. I've seen chefs on TV use a half can in recipes. I once used a tiny bit in a recipe and it was way too hot to taste anything else.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: noodlepoodle

                    Chipotle: not only spicy, but very smoky - a little goes a long way

                    1. re: noodlepoodle

                      I decided to try a new thai place that opened up near my work a couple weeks ago. I ordered the "spicy mint leaf pork." I expected it to be spicy, but wow was it ever over the top spicy. My mouth was on fire after a few bites. It didn't wipe out the flavor though, the flavor was fantastic. Worth the pain, I would order it again.

                      1. re: noodlepoodle

                        I like spicy food but not crazy hot, and chipotle in adobo doesn't seem that spicy to me. I've used it in many recipes and never gotten flavors blown.

                      2. LONG time ago, both of these, early-mid 1970s:

                        My then-girlfriend was curious about a local (to her, not to me) Chinese restaurant. Her exact words: "Order it hot, I dare ya!". So I did. "Hot" was not common at all in those days. It was delicious! The next day I am awakened by a phone call: "D*** you, Wayne Keyser! That stuff's as hot coming out as it was going in!" I'm sorry for the character flaw this shows, but I was breaking into laughter on and off for the rest of the day.

                        Even before that, I was out working with a friend from high school, lunching at a Chinese restaurant. He very politely suggested that I try something. Rube that I was then, I was shocked: why would anyone want HOT and SOUR soup? Wasn't brave enough to try it. Those were the days when menus would "talk around" potentially hot-button names, offering "tasty and pungent soup", for instance.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: wayne keyser

                          that comment by your former girlfriend reminds me of something my dear departed Dad used to say about the food he ate in Thailand..."so spicy it made your a** pucker." ;)

                        2. I was out to dinner at a Thai restaurant with my friend's family. We ordered not spicy and apparently it was still too much for her mom. She turned bright red and started sweating. We were all laughing, but the kicker was when our Mexican waiter came by and saw her and yelled back to the kitchen "Gringo on fire!"

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: caffinatedmints

                            Hilarious! I'm seriously in my cubicle dying of laughter.

                            1. re: LN2008

                              I find that stereotype to be a little baffling. I can think of many places where the people seem to prefer less spicy food than in the US: Basically all or most of the South American continent, Costa Rica, Europe in general. Compared to those places, "gringos" seem to be massive spice consumers.

                              1. re: Wawsanham

                                Yeah, the image of the heat-averse American gringo was probably quite accurate in 1972. But 2012? Not so much.

                          2. Ahh! I love this! My best friend grew a garden with tomatoes and jalepenos. Let me add she's mildly forgetful and kind of lazy-ish. Anyway.. she never watered the plants, but still ended up with loads of peppers. She gave them to me and I turned them into poppers. Those things were so hot I drank all the dairy in our fridge and ate a bunch of yogurt. I honestly thought I was going to have to go to the hospital. Needless to say, that's the only one I ate.