Starting with years of picky eating…
Looking back to when I was a child, something I remember vividly was a great dislike for anything spicy. Even regular black pepper was a big no-no as far as I was concerned. I remember that I would proceed to eat a meal ex…treme…ly…..slow….ly if it had any pepper on it of any sorts. I was afraid that I would have a huge coughing fit and run for a glass of water or it would lead to my face turning red, which is all around embarrassing and hardly seemed worth it.
However, I’m happy to inform that a lot has changed since then. It’s incredibly how your taste buds develop over the years., especially when introduced slowly into new types of foods and different flavors. You can even get over the texture of certain foods (like some people with mushrooms-only a lot of people don’t get over that one). I remember the exact moment I started thinking “Hmm…maybe I should try new foods”. I don’t remember how young I was, but it was when my mother had sauteed some mushrooms in a pan on day and offered me some. I refused, of course, but she insisted that I would like it. At that moment, I decided to turn a new leaf and try something new for a change and guess what? I loved it. Still to this day I have a love affair with anything to do with sauteed mushroom.
“Spice is nice!”
So, keeping in mind for all these years that it’s worth trying any type of new food, when it came time to trying food that had a little be more “kick” to it, I was ready to try out all those hot peppers and sauces that everyone seemed so fond of. I still had visions of a friend of the family drenching his morning toast with Red Hot and swearing I would never get to that point, but I did want to be able to handle a bit of spiciness if need be.
The person I have to thank for adding a little spice to my life is my boyfriend, Chris. One day we ordered a Chicken Poutine from a local South Shore restaurant called Les Rôtisserie Benny a.k.a. Benny BBQ (if you live in the Montreal area and are looking for a great poutine, I HIGHLY recommend ordering from there…it’s the South Shore’s favorite!). For those of you who don’t know what poutine is, it’s French Fries, gravy, and cheese. Hmm…that description doesn’t do it justice, so instead click here. Anyway, the food arrived and after separating the meal in two, Chris brought out a Red Hot bottle and doused his poutine with it.
“What are you doing? You’re ruining it!” I cried out.
“Have you ever tried this before?” he ask.
I hadn’t. The thought of covering an already incredibly delicious poutine with a spicy sauce made me cringe. He proceeded to pick out one french fry, along with a single piece of cheese with sauce and a tiny bit of Red Hot on it and told me to taste it and then, if I didn’t like it, he’d never bother me with it again. So I did.
It was as if I had been blind and could suddenly see! He watched me as I chewed and smiled. I guess he could read it all over my face.
“Would you like some Red Hot with your poutine?” He asked.
“Yes, please.” I whispered, knowing he’d rub it in my face later on that he was right. He’s sweet like that.
From that moment on, he introduced me to many different variety of hot sauces and spicy peppers. Next we were adding a bit of chili flakes to pastas, putting small amounts of jalapeños on top of our homemade nacho plates and adding Red Hot to other meals (we’d “Put That Sh*t On Everything!”). He even put diced up banana peppers into our grilled cheese once. I told him I was definitely NOT trying that one…..but I did, of course, and I loved it. Soon, I was adding more Wasabi to my soy sauce when we’d go out for sushi. Regular Sake rolls became Spicy Sake rolls. When it came to having another Chicken Poutine, I could no longer not put Red Hot on it.
There are moments when spice is not nice…
One day, while making pasta, we decided to throw in a bunch of diced up jalapeños into the sauce. We were so excited for a delicious meal, we sat down with a glass of red wine and started up a movie, took one bite of the pasta and almost died. I don’t know what happened to those peppers, but they somehow became spicier over night. I have to say, we’ve never been so disappointed and laughed so hard at the same time in our life. I added a whole can of tomato sauce to the mix and it still wasn’t enough to dull down the spice. Sometimes, I guess it’s too much. We’ve been careful with jalapeños ever since.
Recently, a friend of ours brought over a bottle of Sriracha HOT Chili Sauce. I tried a bit of it and holy crap. Talk about a different kind of spice than what I’m used to. To be honest, I’m not quite sure what is spicy and what is HOLY CRAP THAT’S SPICY, but to me, this one felt like it had a serious kick.
Last night, while eating a few chicken nuggets, I decided to add a bit of this sauce on to my plate for light dipping. At first, I was mixing the tiniest bit of it into a honey mustard BBQ sauce, but that soon turned into a full-on dipping experience. I even ate it all and had to add more to my plate. Then I got a couple more chicken nuggets just so that I could continue eating and tasting that delicious sauce! Can you believe it? Is that just a little bit pathetic? Probably, but I did it anyways. What a change from little ol’ me who couldn’t stand pepper, let alone a super spicy hot sauce! How times change…
What is your spice of life?
See you tomorrow morning!
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