I see food as a challenge, whenever I see a potential culinary challenge I feel like I need to attack it. All you can eat is an open invitation to try, and if there is an exotic cut of meat I’m going to try it.
This has got me into problems more than once, Mrs M complains that I think I can eat like a big game hunter but ostrich, alligator, boar have all lead to dietary ramification which mean I am now restricted to a ‘farmyard’ only diet.
Where I will still take risks is with capsaicin. I see the Scoville Scale as a guide and the higher the better. I just can’t get enough of hot and spicy foods.
When I head to Nando’s (for those not familiar with Nando’s you are missing out, it’s Peri-Peri chicken from the gods) I like to go for the hottest sauce I can. It will totally obliviate the taste of the meat but if you are going hot and spicy you are not too bothered if your chicken was corn-fed.
I have the same feeling about chilli, I want feel the burn not taste the beans. I remember being in a restaurant which proclaimed it served the ‘Hottest Chilli in the Canary Islands’ and decided that I need to investigate further. The top tier was labelled ‘Core of the Sun’, if that isn’t a deliberate provocation I don’t know what is.
When the chilli was brought out it had that dark red oil that is an indication of the amount of spice contained within, except this time that oil was almost black. It was like the core of a sun that had collapsed on itself, it was a black hole chilli.
Even the slightest drop on the end of a cocktail stick was enough to scare off my family but I was to boldly go when some other diners, in fact probably quite a few other people, had gone before. Before I had finished I had lost all sensation in my lower jaw. It was good.
That is the fun of extra hot food, yes it is going to hurt around six to eight hours later but the rush I get from tackling the burning sensation in my mouth is addictive. I know that it is purely a chemical reaction triggering pain sensors but if I can suppress the tickle sensation (much to Mrs V’s annoyance) why not this?
On more than one occasion I have made a spicy dish with multiple varieties of chillies and peppers, I don’t believe in creating subtle layers of heat instead going for the ‘death to your tongue’ approach. In fact I list as one of my greatest cooking achievements being able to make The Nobber sweat and cry with a chicken fajita.
Let’s be honest, despite all this we’ve all been thinking one thing & that’s a Johnny Cash song.