Thursday, October 29, 2009

Not So Hot

As with most things in life, heat is something we adapt to. Which heat am I talking about? Spice.

I often find myself looking for the next step up in spicy when I cook for myself. I'm not one of those guys who grows his own super-hot peppers, or tries to break the record for most suicide wings eaten in 20 minutes (in fact, I tend to stay at the "hot" level when it comes to wings), I like heat, not pain.

I'm sadly disappointed when it's not there as advertised.

There's a fantastic sausage maker that operates out of the St. Lawrence farmers market on Saturdays - Gaucho's Chorizo. Delicious offerings, no filling, lean, and one hell of a variety of flavours. Honey garlic? Easy. Red wine and fennel? Sure. Beer and cheese? Right here. Etc, etc.. They also have their hot ones. Hot chorizo, spicy Louisiana, and their top of the heap - Internal Combustion. I picked up an IC a few weeks ago and fried it up last night.


The barest hint of spice. I was ready for eye-watering, tissue-grabbing heat. Not even a sniffle. The sausage was tasty for sure, but not hot.

I was also saddened that I had apparently not used enough ghost pepper infused salt on my fried potatoes, as they also lacked heat (but were delicious). Next time, I'll also toss in some habanero powder, as the hot cayenne ain't doing it.

There's my favourite mustard place at St. Lawrence too (in the south market). When I first tried them years ago, I was tearing up with their mild mustards. The last time I made a purchase there, I tried their XXX hot mustard and shrugged. The woman behind the counter missed me trying it and asked what I was looking for. "Something hot." "Have you tried the XXX?" "Yah, not doing it for me." She was shocked. She pointed me to their hot russian, and IT had some bite. Nice! So I bought it, and it sat in my pantry for months. Then I noticed it had popped its seal and honey was leaking out. I opened it, it was fine, and put it in the fridge. But sadly... the heat was gone. I'm not sure if just mellowed over time, or if I once again had moved up the Scoville scale in my tolerance, or a combination of both, but I was disappointed.

I have a bottle of "Super hot" horseradish I bought for a roast beef sandwich. I nearly wept when I opened it the day I bought it and discovered barely any FLAVOUR let alone heat.

So now? I'll stick with the thai chili infused pickles in my fridge. Not burning, but still hot. Might be time for more Jambalaya. Have to remember to pick up shrimp...


Otis said...

Assuming you get "Fringe" up there in the wilderness great white north.

Any more posts like this and you're going to start making people think you're 'that bald guy.'

Astin said...

Sigh... now I'll have to watch Fringe to know what you're talking about.

BamBam said...

Nothing AND I MEAN NOTHING, is more dissapointing than the lack of flavour or heat, from a tidbit that tantalizes with promise of the same.

"Pain" has no business, in the matter of all things edible.

The sultry heat that eminates before, during and after a great flavour is exposed, can and will bring a person to an understanding of perfection.

Bring on the heat I ask.

Just leave your powdered concoctions and false advertising, for some other schmuck!