Wednesday, June 08, 2005

The Much Awaited Chili Pepper Post!

You asked for it; you got it...

Robb Walsh of the Austin Chronicle, in 1991, called it the Chile Pepper Counterculture... Nevermind the fact that Robb Walsh hasn't the slightest clue that Chile is a country in South America and what we eat are called Chilies. According to the concept that Walsh's article created back then, we're a bunch of junkies tripping through life with nothing better to do than get to our next fix. He likened chili peppers to psychotropic drugs, such as peyote, coca (as in cocaine) and tobacco; is that why some chiliheads cough; wink, wink.

Apparently some "experimental psychologist" believes that we chili addicts are "hooked" on endorphins and that we get "strung out".

Right on man, Timothy Leary move over.

I like the burn. The fact that the burn is firing endorphins in my system, makes me feel good, and feeling good is, well... it can't be a bad thing, can it?

Accordingly, in all the times I've ever eaten hot peppers, whereas I've gone through mega-mouth burn. I have never had my thought processes interrupted by simply biting into a pepper. Whereas I have been in so much pain, I've been jumping up and down, I have never been "overwhelmed". And although I get a comfortable good-timey feeling (good-timey? Is that a word??) while my mouth is burning, I don't think I've ever really truly experienced a "rush" or gotten "stoned" or even mildly "buzzed"; Not fair... the only legal stone in the world besides alcohol; which btw is a depressant; and I don't get stoned.

Maybe I'm just immune to endorphins??

Speaking of immunity (How's that for a segue?)... On Sunday, we set up shop at the Ste. Eustache Flea Market. (Ya... like that will ever happen again.) And we watched as chiliheads cravingly looked at our sauces like maybe there was something wrong with them and that's why we were there. A couple of them braved the depths of degradation that was our booth at a flea market (did I say "never again"?) and actually bought little mini-jars to take home. But after four hours, only one real true chilihead did the; eyes lit up pre-endorphin rush approach to our booth...

"Are they hot"?

"Oh, yes"

"How hot?"


"Because, I ate this one sauce called Da Bomb and I like that."

"Ah, I see, well, we only use natural peppers, but they're still hot."

"Yeah... gimme a taste"

I open the jar of hurricane, scoop out a largish quantity, and hand it to him. He pops the 90% pure peppers into his mouth, chews, reflects thoughtfully then mockingly says...

"You've got to be kidding."

Obviously capsaicin sensitive... Not! He didn't cough, or sneeze, or blush but he spun in a circle with a tear in his eye and turned back to us. At which point, I'm thinking... yu huh.

"That's not hot." He says.

Now, he's just being rude... And ya know, I can't for the life of me figure out why. Ego? Machissimo?

Greg says to him; "Well, we only use natural peppers, so you're not going to get the same heat as you can with chemically extracted oleoresins." Of course you aren't; we don't call Greg the Peppermaster for no good reason.

Then Mr. Chilihead realizes that his fiancee has left him and he mentions her.

"Oh," I suggested, "why don't we bring your fiancee over here and have her taste it, I wonder if SHE'LL think it's hot?"

"Oh, she can't eat that, it'd kill her." he says.

How stupid can a person be? It's not hot, but it will kill his fiancee.

Colour me impressed. Not.

1 comment:

FTS said...

See, that's the difference in being what you term a true "Chilihead." If you only eat spicy food to impress others, you're not impressive at all. I don't have to brag to my friends; they come over and see what's in my refrigerator. And they all want to be the first to bring me a sauce I can't handle, but really and truly they just don't 'get it.'

Sure, hot sauce is meant to burn and leave some skid marks on your tongue, but it's not ALL about the burn. It has to TASTE good, too, or it's not worth it. Heck, anyone can make a sauce that will burn your lips off, but hot JUST for the sake of being hot is useless. I'd rather eat a bowl of the stuff Chili's serves than that. Their's isn't hot at all, but at least it has a nice flavor.

On the other hand, if you can satisfy my taste buds AND my desire for the burn at the same time, THEN you've impressed me -- like your Hurricane Mash did.

I'm not out to impress people with my ability to eat hot foods. I've encountered some that hurt me without pleasure, and I won't go back there again.