Re: [CH] Cranking up the heat in restaurants!

Jonathan T. Smillie (
Mon, 18 May 1998 13:07:15 -0500

At 05:43 PM 5/17/98 -0500, Sandy Olson wrote: 


<bigger>In response to Jonathan Smillie's request for ultra-hot food in a
Thai restaurant, what happens when a order is really too hot to eat? 


I have yet to encounter a restaurant-prepared dish that is too hot to
eat. Without a doubt., the most incendiary dish I've ever been served was
an order of the Suicide wings at the Acme Bar & Grill, Toronto- but I got
through even those, with the help of a couple pints of Upper Canada Bock,
and had the endorphin rush to prove it. 

In fact,. the only time I have yet to be unable, for reasons of heat, to
finish a capsicum-laden dish is one of my own creation. The first time I
ever used Dave's Insanity (about 4 years ago), I put about 2 tablespoons
into a 3-quart batch of white chili, and could not finish a regular-sized
bowl. Yow!

I think Coyote was on the right track about Thai restaurants. They seem,
as a general rule, to have realized that there are Western diners out
there who can take it- and they've responded, in my experience, by
providing flexible heat levels for most dishes. Which may not be totally
authentic, but certainly pays off for those of us who like the top end of
the scale while accommodating those who don't go past the middle. But I
think there's still a perception that the American palate, in particular,
is blander than it really is. 


On the flip side, I think it's important to respect the traditions of
different styles of cooking. I don't ask for elevated heat levels in
situations where that's not appropriate- for example, I don't request
serranos with my sauerbraten at the German restaurant. But when I cook
for myself, or when I'm somewhere like a Thai restaurant that knows me,
then yes, blow my head off if you can. 



<bold>Conservative</bold>, <italic>n.</italic> A statesman who is
enamored of existing

evils, as distinguished from the Liberal, who wishes to 

replace them with others.

- Ambrose Bierce, <italic>The Devil's Dictionary</italic>