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Author Topic: Hot peppers
Salamander
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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quote:
Originally posted by Cactus Wren:
Okay, I concede that the assertion that "no one actually likes super-hot foods" was hyperbole. But in the same breath, I must therefore concede as well that the issue is in fact some innate inability of my own to detect this wonderful "taste" so widely lauded in this thread and everywhere else. Whatever it is, folks, I can't detect it. All I perceive is heat.

That's probably because you haven't become accustomed to the heat yet.

I'm a latter day convert to hot 'n' spicy foods. It all began when I started hanging out with some Singaporean friends -- pretty much everything they ate involved lots of heat. At first, all I could taste was the heat. Particularly since they didn't "go easy" on me either.

Yet I got there in the end, I have built up a tolerance to the heat and I can say that the flavour is amazing. I certainly don't need everything I eat to be spicy hot but I love it when appropriate. I'm no expert but I think pickled green jalapenos are about the mildest you can get. If you're actually interested in trying then that is probably a good place to start.

Also, as ali_marea said you could try roasting the peppers first. It will take out some of the heat and also sweeten the flavour of them a little as well. Definitely avoid the seeds at all costs as those are going to be the hottest part.

If you're not interested, then I wouldn't worry too much about it. Just eat what you enjoy eating.

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"victory thru self-deception"

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NocturnalGoddess- naughty or nice?
Carol of the Dells


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I looooove hot wings, the hotter, the better. There's this great peppery vinegary tangy flavor to them.

Word of caution, though... Homicide wings from Wings to Go and intimate acts with the SO don't mix... yeah [Eek!]

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"I saw weird stuff in that place last night. Weird, strange, sick, twisted, eerie, godless, EVIL stuff... and I want in."- Homer Simpson

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Spamamander in a pear tree
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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- wipes the Bacardi silver off my monitor- OW.

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"There is a race between mankind and the universe. Mankind is trying to build bigger, better, faster, and more foolproof machines. The universe is trying to build bigger, better, and faster fools. So far the universe is winning." -Albert Einstein

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curlygirl
Jingle Bell Hock


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quote:
Originally posted by DAnnino:
quote:
Originally posted by Colonel Zoidberg:
...and what's worse is that, after eating them, he touched his eyes. I'll leave you to draw your own conclusions from that.

Many law enforcement officers carry OC (oleoresin capsicum) spray, which is more effective than CS or Mace. It is made from capsicum (the active ingredient in peppers), and is very effective.

There were three officers assigned to another port who OC'ed themselves trying to make nachos! [Eek!] Yep, it's true, I knew all three of them. Not the pointiest tacks in the bulletin board!

[slight nitpick] Capsicum is the name of the plant family that includes bell peppers, chilis, cayenne and paprika. (Here in Australia, we also call bell peppers capsicums).

Capsaicin is the chemical that is responsible for the heat in chilis and is the active ingredient in OC or pepper sprays.

The confusion may arise from the name OC gas (for oleoresin capsicum). Oleoresin Capsicum is not the name of the compound but rather a description of it, (ie an odoriferous, soft, hydrocarbon compound secreted by plants from the Capsicum family or "a stinky oil made from chilis").

[/end nitpick]

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"let them eat cake...and toast...and waffles...and cookies, don't forget the cookies"

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ThistleSoftware
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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quote:
Originally posted by Cactus Wren:
Okay, I concede that the assertion that "no one actually likes super-hot foods" was hyperbole. But in the same breath, I must therefore concede as well that the issue is in fact some innate inability of my own to detect this wonderful "taste" so widely lauded in this thread and everywhere else. Whatever it is, folks, I can't detect it. All I perceive is heat.

I find it interesting that you seem unwilling to concede that perhaps if you were used to the heat you would be able to taste other flavors. Isn't that what people have been telling you all along?

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Officially Heartless

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bufungla
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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quote:
Originally posted by Cactus Wren:
Okay, I concede that the assertion that "no one actually likes super-hot foods" was hyperbole. But in the same breath, I must therefore concede as well that the issue is in fact some innate inability of my own to detect this wonderful "taste" so widely lauded in this thread and everywhere else. Whatever it is, folks, I can't detect it. All I perceive is heat.

Can you taste the difference between a ginger snap and a sugar cookie as anything besides "heat"?

Can you taste the difference between mashed potatoes with pepper and without as anything besides "heat"?

If so, you've detected the flavor of at least two types of "hot" spices.

If you'd like to detect the flavor (as opposed to heat) in jalapeños, I'd try eating Pace mild salsa with chips and adding Pace medium to the mix until it's too hot for you to handle. Somewhere before you reach that point, you should taste a non-heat difference.

If, however, you're looking to find out *why* people like food too hot for you to tolerate, I'm afraid you're asking people to explain the ineffability of taste. You might as well ask why (some) gentlemen/persons/beings prefer blondes.

Likewise, describing the actual flavor is equally problematic. Aside from a few basic charateristics (sweet, salt, bitter, sour) and comparisons to other foods, describing a taste is like dancing about a smell.

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"Pardon him. Theodotus: he is a barbarian, and thinks that the customs of his tribe and island are the laws of nature."

George Bernard Shaw, Caesar and Cleopatra

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LemonLimeade
Deck the Malls


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quote:
Originally posted by Colonel Zoidberg:

I like Chinese food that's flavored with those little red peppers. I don't like to eat the red peppers themselves. One is good. The other is nuts.

I'm in the nuts category here then, maybe...I like General Tso's and I make sure I put a piece of those peppers on each bite. Just a little piece, enough to give me a rush of heat. I get "hot oil" with every dish, and pour on just enough to make my lips sweat heh. I also take the homemade hot mustard (a local Chinese place sells it, or you can mix mustard powder with water) and dip in the crisp noodles - hubby won't eat that because it's the kind of heat that goes straight up your nose, but I love that. No accounting for what other people find pleasurable.

We have a Thai restaurant that we love, and they offer no heat, mild (which is not mild at all, and they warn you of that if you're a newcomer), medium (wow!) and hot (crazy.) I can eat the hot, but it's too hot to enjoy, (though when I get medium I add a bit of the hot chili sauce to make something between medium and hot) but my husband likes it hot. Now when we first got married I loved hot things, and he couldn't tolerate heat like I could. Then we had a friend who was very into hot peppers and my husband ended up surpassing me - with most people, as far as I can tell, you get desensitized over time. If you eat it regularly you need more to give you the same kick. I also love love LOVE good wasabi (not American horseradish turned green, but real wasabi) and will put enough on sushi to make my nose run and have to breathe through my mouth. I love it that way.

Now I love the flavor of jalapenos even though to me they aren't very hot, usually. But if I just want heat with no flavor I'll add cayenne or habanero. (Cayenne has a distinct flavor but when put in a dish I don't notice it, just a kick.) My husband and I don't always agree on what's hot either - a local restaurant that serves cajun has crawfish tails that are hot to me, but not to my husband, whereas there are other dishes he finds hot that I don't. Some of it is just a matter of individual taste.

Plus, I don't think it's all bravado. There is also the "rush" you get from eating hot things. If I eat a whole dish of etouffee from a local restaurant, I get a high comparable to...well...it's pretty dam good, let's say that. Doesn't last too long, but it makes me crave that particular hot dish. I get the same from pepperoncini if I eat several in a row.

Lastly, there IS some definite bravado, but any responsible seller of hot sauces and peppers will advise you never to go much above your comfort zone just to prove something - that can be dangerous. In fact, we visited one hot sauce booth at a local festival and there was a T-shirt there with a speech balloon that said something about "Nothing is too hot!" but the frame below showed a guy on the ground with Xes for eyes. There IS such a thing as too hot and it varies for each person, and it varies at different points in your life and according to how much you've eaten before too.

We have Cluck-U-Chicken around here, and they too have a challenge - if you can eat 6 wingers in 911 sauce in 4 or 5 minutes, something like that, you get a bucket and a T-shirt and a picture on the wall. The owner was interviewed and was asked what advice he had for anyone trying the challenge - his reply? "Don't do it." Seriously. They make you sign a waiver before even trying it; you have to attest that you won't hold them liable, and that you aren't drunk when you try it.

There is absolutely no reason beyond showing off to go far over and above what you know you can handle - and if that makes you "wimpy" so be it. There will always be someone who can eat something hotter, so why bother? Why endanger yourself? Eat at your comfort zone, and maybe step it up a notch for kicks when you want (or IF you want) and leave it at that. And if you don't like things hot, whatever.

But honestly, many people really do like things very hot, and what is "very hot" varies from person to person.

True story - our hot pepper friend was working in the produce department of a grocery store and some guy came in and saw the pretty little orange peppers. He wanted to buy them to put on salads for his friends, to jazz up the colors. My friend had to tell him "No, you don't want to do that. You'll end up with lawsuits on your hands and new enemies. And if you buy them, make sure you put gloves on your hands before even cutting them, I assure you." They were habaneros. I can't imagine what would have happened if he'd put raw hunks of them on his friends' salads! IMO people who like heat should never try to humiliate someone into doing something dumb and reckless, I know I never would. Always warn someone before they try something you're offering, and always try to be sensitive to where someone's heat comfort level is before giving them something, too. That's how we got turned on to a good number of hot things we hadn't been aware of; always proceed carefully.

ETA: One of our favorite hot salsas was called Screaming Sphincter. You can guess why: http://www.hotsauceworld.com/hsw2326.html

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Those who beat their swords into plowshares will plow for those who don't.

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WildaBeast
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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quote:
Originally posted by ThistleS:
quote:
Originally posted by Cactus Wren:
Okay, I concede that the assertion that "no one actually likes super-hot foods" was hyperbole. But in the same breath, I must therefore concede as well that the issue is in fact some innate inability of my own to detect this wonderful "taste" so widely lauded in this thread and everywhere else. Whatever it is, folks, I can't detect it. All I perceive is heat.

I find it interesting that you seem unwilling to concede that perhaps if you were used to the heat you would be able to taste other flavors. Isn't that what people have been telling you all along?
Is "getting used to it" the only factor, though? It seems like I've heard there is a genetic factor as well; some people's taste buds are more sensitive to certain flavors than others. So not everything tastes exactly the same to everybody. Probably the best example of this is cilantro -- to some people it tastes like soap, to others it tastes good. I wouldn't be surprised if there was something similar going on with people who like spicy foods and people who don't.

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"Unseasonable is an odd word to begin with. It sounds like it's describing something that it's impossible to sprinkle pepper on." -- Nonny

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TurquoiseGirl
The "Was on Sale" Song


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There is an actualy physiological adaptation of pain receptors to capcasin. I saw it on Scientific American Frontiers. I don't think Alan Alda would lie to me!

Actually, this is the basis for using capsaicin as a pain reliever for those with chronic pain.

And cilantro does taste like soap! I thought I was just weird that way.

ETA: More info on using capsaicin to treat hyperalgesia:
Systematic review of topical capsaicin for the treatment of chronic pain
Author: Mason, L ; Moore, RA ; Derry, S ; Edwards, JE ; McQuay, HJ
Institution: Univ Oxford, Oxford Radcliffe Hosp, Nuffield Dept Anaesthet, S Parks Rd, Oxford OX3 7LJ, England ; Univ Oxford, Oxford Radcliffe Hosp, Nuffield Dept Anaesthet, Oxford OX3 7LJ, England
Journal: BRITISH MEDICAL JOURNAL; APR 24 2004; v.328, no.7446, p.991-994
Abstract: Objective To determine the efficacy and safety of topically applied capsaicin for chronic pain from neuropathic or musculoskeletal disorders. Data sources Cochrane Library, Medline, Embase, PubMed, an in-house database, and contact with manufacturers of topical capsaicin. Study selection Randomised controlled trials comparing topically applied capsaicin with placebo or in adults with chronic pain. another treatment Data extraction Primary outcome was dichotomous information for the number of patients with around at least 50% pain reduction. Outcomes were extracted at four weeks for musculoskeletal conditions and eight weeks for neuropathic conditions. Secondary outcomes were adverse events mid withdrawals due to adverse events. Data synthesis Six double blind placebo controlled trials ( 56 patients) were pooled for analysis of neuropathic conditions. The relative benefit from topical capsaicin 0.075% compared with placebo was 1.4 (95% confidence interval 1.2 to 1.7) and the number needed to treat was 5.7 (4.0 to 10.0). Three double blind placebo controlled trials (368 patients) were pooled for analysis of musculoskeletal conditions. The relative benefit from topical capsaicin 0.025% or plaster compared with placebo was 1.5 (1.1 to 2.0) and die number needed to treat was S. 1 (4.6 to 34). Around one third of patients experienced local adverse events with capsaicin, which would not have been the case with placebo. Conclusions Although topically applied capsaicin has moderate to poor efficacy in the treatment of chronic musculoskeletal or neuropathic pain, it may be useful as an adjunct or sole therapy for a small number of patients who are unresponsive to, or intolerant of, other treatments.

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There are people who drive really nice cars who feel that [those] cars won't be as special if other people drive them too. Where I come from, we call those people "selfish self-satisfied gits." -Chloe

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TurquoiseGirl
The "Was on Sale" Song


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Another reason to eat spicy foods [Wink]
Maximum tolerable dose of red pepper decreases fat intake independently of spicy sensation in the mouth
Author: Yoshioka, M ; Imanaga, M ; Ueyama, H ; Yamane, M ; Kubo, Y ; Boivin, A ; St-Amand, J ; Tanaka, H ; Kiyonaga, A
Email: Mayumi.Yoshioka@crchul.ulaval.ca
Institution: CHUL, Mol Endocrinol & Oncol Res Ctr, 2705 Blvd Laurier, St Foy, PQ G1V 4G2, Canada ; CHUL, Mol Endocrinol & Oncol Res Ctr, St Foy, PQ G1V 4G2, Canada ; CHUL, Dept Anat & Physiol, St Foy, PQ G1V 4G2, Canada ; Fukuoka Univ, Fac Sport & Hlth Sci, Fukuoka 8140184, Japan
Journal: BRITISH JOURNAL OF NUTRITION; JUN 2004; v.91, no.6, p.991-995
Abstract: Dietary red pepper suppresses energy intake and modifies macronutrient intake. We have investigated whether a stimulus in the mouth and the sensation of spiciness are necessary for red pepper-induced changes in energy and macronutrient intake in human volunteers. In a preliminary test, sixteen Japanese male volunteers tasted samples of a soup with graded doses of red pepper in order to define a moderate and a maximum tolerable (strong) dose of red pepper. On the day of the experiment, a standardised breakfast was given to the volunteers. At lunchtime, the subjects ingested one of four experimental soups containing either a placebo, a moderate or a strong dose of red pepper plus placebo capsules, or a placebo soup plus capsules delivering a strong dose of red pepper. The rest of the meal was given ad libitum to all subjects. The amount of food, protein and carbohydrate ingested was similar for all conditions. Energy and fat intake were similar after the ingestion of the moderate soup compared with placebo. However, the strong soup significantly lowered fat intake compared with placebo (P=0(.)043), and ingestion of strong capsules also tended to suppress it (P=0(.)080). Moreover, energy intake after strong soup and capsules tended to be lower than placebo (P=0(.)089 and 0(.)076, respectively). The present results indicate that the maximum tolerable dose is necessary to have a suppressive effect of red pepper on fat intake. The main site of the action of red pepper is not in the mouth.

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There are people who drive really nice cars who feel that [those] cars won't be as special if other people drive them too. Where I come from, we call those people "selfish self-satisfied gits." -Chloe

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ThistleSoftware
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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quote:
Originally posted by WildaBeast:
quote:
Originally posted by ThistleS:
quote:
Originally posted by Cactus Wren:
Okay, I concede that the assertion that "no one actually likes super-hot foods" was hyperbole. But in the same breath, I must therefore concede as well that the issue is in fact some innate inability of my own to detect this wonderful "taste" so widely lauded in this thread and everywhere else. Whatever it is, folks, I can't detect it. All I perceive is heat.

I find it interesting that you seem unwilling to concede that perhaps if you were used to the heat you would be able to taste other flavors. Isn't that what people have been telling you all along?
Is "getting used to it" the only factor, though? It seems like I've heard there is a genetic factor as well; some people's taste buds are more sensitive to certain flavors than others. So not everything tastes exactly the same to everybody. Probably the best example of this is cilantro -- to some people it tastes like soap, to others it tastes good. I wouldn't be surprised if there was something similar going on with people who like spicy foods and people who don't.
It probably isn't the only factor but that doesn't mean it should be dismissed out of hand the way Cactus Wren seems to be doing.

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Officially Heartless

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Aud
We Three Blings


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I don't get the flavor of pepper based dishes either. Their pleasures are lost on me. I too thought it was a macho chest thumping thing.

OTOH bufungla I love ginger, garlic, and horseradish kinds of heat. It was quite the revelation to me that I could appreciate these kinds of hot. My earliest exposure to pepper based spices put me off trying anything hot for years.

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Mama Duck
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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I think you are the way you are because I'm the way I am and the cosmos strives for balance. Up until quite recently, I didn't believe people that told me they didn't like spicy foods. I thought they "liked" bland food because they grew up eating that sort of thing and thought that was the way food was supposed to be. I thought if they just tried X dish seasoned so, they'd come around. And while I can now accept that some people actually enjoy bland food, I still don't understand it. It's like saying your favorite beverage is lukewarm tap water. Ok, so you don't actually like flavor, got it.

To me, peppers, spices, and the like enhance the underlying taste of the main ingredient as well as giving the dish layers and complexities. Thus the dish is more enjoyable and satisfying.

~Garlic is spicy? I never knew~

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There is no interpersonal problem so big that it can't be solved with a suitably large amount of high explosives. ~ Bufungla

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LemonLimeade
Deck the Malls


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In the Gallery of Regrettable Food, Lilek quotes an old Durum Wheat brochure that says the popularity of durum wheat products is due to their chewy texture and bland flavor. This whole country used to be afraid of flavor - we've come a long way, I think [Smile]

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Those who beat their swords into plowshares will plow for those who don't.

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Rhiandmoi
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by Cactus Wren:
What is this wonderful "taste" that's so irresistible, and so entirely separate from the sensation of heat, that you can't resist it?

The taste of jalepeños is like a very concentrated bell pepper with a bit of tang. It is a sort of grassy flavor. Other peppers have more or less grass flavor and might add in fruity flavors that are sort of like strawberry or apple. Smoking sort of gives a bbq fruit leather flavor, roasting sort of mutes the grass flavors and cuts the tang. Pickling ups the tang.
I like pepper sauces, especially garlic pepper sauces. One of my favorite meals in college was buttered noodles liberally doused with a garlic pepper sauce.

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I think that hyperbole is the single greatest factor contributing to the decline of society. - My friend Pat.

What is .02 worth?

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Johnny Slick
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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Do people actually feel a burning sensation from garlic? Really? When I eat garlic, I taste... garlic. In terms of hotness, it doesn't even blip for me. It makes me burp, and it makes those burps taste garlicky too (oo0 la la SEXY), but it sure doesn't carry any "hot" or "painful" sensation with it. Maybe I'm eating the wrong kind of garlic.

Jalapenos, on the other hand, can be pretty hot. They do have their own taste, FWIW, similar to a green pepper only with a lot of capsacin. You do have to get to the point where the heat doesn't overwhelm you to taste this, but a lot of people and a lot of cultures do. I remember a friend of mine did his Mormon mission to Guatemala and said that the children down there will sometimes eat a pepper the way kids up here will eat an apple (or a Jolly Rancher, given the prevalence of sugar here). If you're inured to the heat from this early an age, certainly you can pick apart the underlying tastes.

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Give big space to the festive dog that makes sport in roadway. Avoid entanglement of dog with wheel spokes.

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Adelaide
Remembrances of Things Bass


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quote:
Originally posted by LemonLimeade:
There is absolutely no reason beyond showing off to go far over and above what you know you can handle...

Well, there's 3 free dinners/month over the course of a year.... [Big Grin]

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Natural selection is a beguiling counterfeiter of deliberate purpose. - Richard Dawkins

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Esprise Me
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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quote:
Originally posted by Lydia Oh Lydia:
I have encountered, however, some people/companies sacrifice taste for heat. For instance, I've found that some hot sauces and salsas are hot but either lack flavor or have a flavor I don't like. One good example is Tabasco. I know a lot of people like it, but I think I'm really sensitive to vinegar. When I taste Tabasco, all I can taste and smell is the vinegar. There's another fairly common hot sauce (they tend to have it at Baja Fresh) called Cholula. I'm not sure if it's "hotter" than Tabasco, but I find the flavor to be quite nice.

Thank God it's not just me! I have never liked Tabasco (although I find the green stuff to be OK) and could never put my finger on why. I think you're right, though; it's the vinegar taste, and lack of pepper flavor, rather than the heat. I rather like Cholula, though. My favorite hot sauce is the simple green tomatillo salsa--the kind with seeds in it. Compared to many of the others on the market, it's pretty mild, but I just love the taste of it.

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"If God wrote it, the grammar must be infallible. Perhaps it is we who are mistaken." -MapleLeaf

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NocturnalGoddess- naughty or nice?
Carol of the Dells


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World's best sandwich (from Dreamer's Cafe, in Wilmington):

Devil baby- club sandwich consisting of sliced chicken breast, pepper jack cheese, spiced pepper sauce (hot sauce), roasted peppers, onion, lettus, tomatoes, on white bread. Not very very hot, but very, very good [Big Grin]

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"I saw weird stuff in that place last night. Weird, strange, sick, twisted, eerie, godless, EVIL stuff... and I want in."- Homer Simpson

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DAnnino
The First USA Noel


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quote:
Originally posted by Nocturnal Goddess: In The Backseat:
World's best sandwich (from Dreamer's Cafe, in Wilmington):

Devil baby- club sandwich consisting of sliced chicken breast, pepper jack cheese, spiced pepper sauce (hot sauce), roasted peppers, onion, lettus, tomatoes, on white bread. Not very very hot, but very, very good [Big Grin]

That sounds great. Send me one! [Big Grin]

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NO BETTER FRIEND, NO WORSE ENEMY
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"I grok when apes learn to laugh, they'll be people."

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dissonance
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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Mmmmmmmmmmmm, hot peppers. It's odd, because I absolutely can't stand sweet peppers, but hot peppers? Yummy. Jalopenos - which to me aren't really that spicy - add a nice kick to a sandwich.

I've been experimenting with making sauces with different dried peppers lately. I could seriously put a sauce based on Chipotles on anything. So yummy!

My local grocery store hasn't had any green salsa in stock for over a month, and it's starting to make me very cranky. And it's hard to find tomatillos to make my own, too.

Posts: 160 | From: Ontario, Canada | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
LemonLimeade
Deck the Malls


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Johnny, I've noticed that raw garlic has a slight burn to it; I make sun-dried tomato pesto with raw garlic and it has a definite bite from the raw garlic. I wouldn't go beyond "a bite" though; to me it isn't actually "hot." Once it's cooked in any way, there's no bite at all, just flavor. Which varies, of course, depending on how you cook it - it can be very sweet or pretty pungent.

Someday I'm going to get my mother-in-law to make her garlic balls in front of me, I just have to know how she does it. We all love them, but haven't been able to duplicate them. They're meatballs, with nice chunks of crusty bread in, and I'd say each ball has about 3 or more cloves of garlic (whole) plus a ton of garlic powder and cooked in garlic-flavored oil. The garlic itself is very sweet, since it's cooked whole inside the meatballs, but boy are they wonderful. First time I tried them I actually hated garlic, who would have figured I'd like something that was beyond saturated by garlic! (They can give you heartburn but I think that may be partly from the fact that they're fairly oily.)

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Those who beat their swords into plowshares will plow for those who don't.

Posts: 285 | From: Woodbridge, NJ | Registered: Jul 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
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