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RightNation.US: SPICY!; or: “That’s ENDORPHINS Baby!” - RightNation.US

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SPICY!!!
That’s ENDORPHINS, Baby!



Endorphins ("endogenous morphine") are endogenous opioid peptides that function as neurotransmitters.[1] They are produced by the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus in vertebrates during exercise,[2] excitement, pain, consumption of spicy food and orgasm,[3][4] and they resemble the opiates in their abilities to produce analgesia and a feeling of well-being. --- Wikipedia (mixed emphasis)


Yeah. :coolshades:


I like spicy food and have since I was a kid. I’ll never forget my Dad commenting on the amount of garlic powder and red pepper that I would sprinkle on a slice of pizza… (albeit “sprinkle” doesn’t do it justice). There have been relatively few constants throughout my life but THIS is a defining characteristic.

But I’m talking “real” SPICY!!!, not bogus spicy. Heck, in some places, “spicy” means salty. Yeah, okay, technically, salt is a spice… and a mineral (like arsenic)… and common (like the Jonas Brothers)… but it’s not SPICY!!!

And yeah, there are “hot sauces” and the like (and plenty of them)… and they certainly have their place… but SPICY!!! is not lip-burn-in-a-bottle… it’s not a frat challenge or an oversize jar of cherry peppers behind the bar… (or High School Musical III)… oh no.

SPICY!!! is moving outside your cultural comfort zone… overcoming your food fear… just slightly into the pain, but not into the panic… an ADVENTURE that can last a lifetime!


I don’t normally mention businesses by name but… I have recently been visiting The Pongal Restaurant… and anytime a New England business can bring the SPICY!!! it’s worth noting.

(Coming soon to Sudbury… apparently Massachusetts is helping lead our economic recovery… no thanks to Obama, who is about as far from SPICY!!! as one can be.)

For example, just tonight… I was sitting there flushed, sweating, and smiling: Lamb Vindaloo, Onion Naan, and of course… the entry-level TAJ beer (22-flounce bottle). This being my fifth or sixth visit, when the waiter asked: “Spicy?”… I nodded, smiled… and was definitely not disappointed.

The senior staff seemed concerned and twice asked if I wanted some yogurt to offset the SPICY!!!… I sweatedly shook my head: “NO!”… I’m loving it. But see… it’s not salt and it’s not hot sauce… it’s actual spices… (like what made the Dutch East India Company rich before the Netherlands went all tulip-crazy… damn Dutch and their flowers!) Apparently this has something to do with Capsaicin which, if I remember correctly, is a breed of monk.


So get out there and try something different… (well, “quality different”)… then come home and try a little adventurous cooking. Just a touch of this or that[***] makes a world of difference!


***- Did you ever see a box-side mac-n-cheese recipe with tuna fish? Sprinkle a little curry in there… like 1/8 of a teaspoon… that’s a good start.



Stay Spicy My Friends





… okay, that was kinda cheesy… my bad…

;)
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14 Comments On This Entry

Ummmmm! VINDALOO! :)
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When I came to Korea, I could not stand spicy food. It severely burned the scars in the back of my throat. Back in February I caught myself eating Korean hot peppers dipped in Korean hot bean paste- as a midnight snack!
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So then I guess you'll be wanting to get ahold of some of these.
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NO.
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cobalt-blue, on Sep 29 2010, 03:59 PM, said:

NO.


Yeah, I like it hot but I'm gonna pass on those myself. :)
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Crawdaddy550, on Sep 29 2010, 07:00 PM, said:

cobalt-blue, on Sep 29 2010, 03:59 PM, said:

NO.


Yeah, I like it hot but I'm gonna pass on those myself. :)



What good is it if I can't taste it. I don't have to prove my manhood to anyone.
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So what's your favorite kind of spice? I like jalapeno, cayenne pepper, and the lil' chiles that they put in Indian food. To me it has to have TASTE in addition to kick. That's my problem with habaneros---all kick, no taste. Cayennes in particular have a nice smokey flavor to them. Don't care much for wasabi/horseradish either. It's a different kind of "kick" that I"m not fond of.

My favorite spicy dishes: chili (of course), my own recipe hot wings w/cayenne pepper sauce, Kung Pao Chicken, Thai Green & Red Curry, Chicken & Potato vindaloo. Yum

Endorphin rush? You betcha! It ain't fun 'til I'm sweating! :)
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This may be the only thing I've ever agreed with you about. Dave's Insanity, Sriracha, are good for starters. I could drink Tabasco like water, but I would get to hate the vinegar taste.
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KenpoDude, on Sep 30 2010, 01:12 PM, said:

This may be the only thing I've ever agreed with you about. Dave's Insanity, Sriracha, are good for starters. I could drink Tabasco like water, but I would get to hate the vinegar taste.


Yes, Sriracha, a/k/a "Rooster Sauce" because of the white rooster on the label. One of my favorite "snacks" is saltine crackers with a slice of ham on top and a thin coating of rooster sauce. And try juevos rancheros with rooster sauce sometime.

You're right about Tabasco. It's interesting in small quantities but if you use enough to build up any real heat then the 'sourness' of it becomes distracting. Best thing I can say about Tabasco is that when I was in the military in the '80s, the miniature bottles of Tabasco that were in certain MREs made those MREs palatable.
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Hercules, on Sep 29 2010, 12:02 AM, said:

Ummmmm! VINDALOO! :)

I gotta tell’ya… I’m both shocked and gratified to find this quality so close to home. :P
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Crawdaddy550, on Sep 29 2010, 01:19 PM, said:

So then I guess you'll be wanting to get ahold of some of these.

I think we have a consensus here. :)

We’re not masochists; the goal is not to hurt yourself, it’s to ENJOY the experience! That guy apparently ended up like someone on a bad drug trip. Where’s the fun in that? Moderation in all things.

(And if they had a “$200 bottle of tequila” on hand, who knows what else led up to that stunt.)

That video further demonstrates why things labeled “organic” are not necessarily good for you. After all, cobra venom is organic… right?

Finally, although he’s in pretty good shape for an “old guy”… he should put some clothes on. :P
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Howsithangin, on Sep 30 2010, 01:01 AM, said:

So what's your favorite kind of spice? I like jalapeno, cayenne pepper, and the lil' chiles that they put in Indian food. To me it has to have TASTE in addition to kick. That's my problem with habaneros---all kick, no taste. Cayennes in particular have a nice smokey flavor to them. Don't care much for wasabi/horseradish either. It's a different kind of "kick" that I"m not fond of.

My favorite spicy dishes: chili (of course), my own recipe hot wings w/cayenne pepper sauce, Kung Pao Chicken, Thai Green & Red Curry, Chicken & Potato vindaloo. Yum

Endorphin rush? You betcha! It ain't fun 'til I'm sweating! :P

While the habanero does not necessarily have a strong flavor, I am fond of the “scalp crawl” sensation that I usually experience… plus they have an attractive appearance. I consider it to be a “well rounded” pepper. I also like a bit of wasabi when I’m doing the “full Japan” spread: sushi/sashimi and warm sake with a Sapporo chaser!

Half a lifetime ago, dear friends introduced me to a variety of spice experiences, from South America to western Africa, through the Mediterranean, the Middle East, the Indian subcontinent, Asia and around the Pacific Rim… and I was primed for it: As my dear Mom will tell you, I’m not a picky eater, and the list foodstuffs that I won’t eat is relatively short. Since I was already “spicy” in an Irish/Italian/NE American context, being introduced to this “world of spices” has led to a never-ending adventure!

I guess what I’m saying is that it’s hard for me to choose favorites… at least as far as consumption is concerned.

Cookery? I use (when appropriate):
  • Black Pepper, powdered or (preferably) fresh-ground from corns.
  • Red Peppers (chilies), powdered or (preferably) fresh-flaked from whole in my repurposed coffee mill.
  • Green Peppers (chilies), fresh-chopped or canned.
  • Fresh or powdered garlic and/or onion.
  • CINNAMON! Powdered or (preferably) fresh-grated, it’s not just for french toast and eggnog!
  • Ginger, powdered or (preferably) fresh-grated.
  • Cumin… mmm smoky cumin.
  • Various fresh or dried herbs, such as: Oregano, basil, mint, bay, cilantro (fresh only), and so on.
  • Citrus: Orange, lemon, lime.
  • A touch of yellow curry for my tuna/mac&cheese salad.
  • A touch of celery seed for my German potato salad (served warm, no mayonnaise).
  • Mustard, ketchup, horsey sauce, Worcestershire, sweet vinegar…
  • Ummm… FIELD TOO LARGE!


At a party I once met a fellow from China. Back home he was a chef for the army. He made the most exquisite dishes… but could only cook in portions for 4,000.


:)
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Guest, on Oct 1 2010, 03:32 PM, said:

If it's spicy enough to make your eyes water, your nose run, and your forehead break out in sweat, it's spicy enough. I remember eating in a Chinese restaurant in Munich with my wife and her best friend. I warned her friend that the sambal oelek sauce I was eating was too hot for her, but she ignored my advice and ate some anyway. The result? It caused painful blisters on her lips and tongue. When someone tells you it's too hot, take their word for it next time, Jan!!

In MUNICH?!!! I enjoy German cuisine but it’s more hunter-killer, starch and vinegar: Schnitzel, sauerbraten, spätzle, and sauerkraut. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that!) It’s just that, if I craved authentic Chinese… Munich would not be my first stop. :)
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Adam Smithee, on Oct 1 2010, 09:32 PM, said:

Yes, Sriracha, a/k/a "Rooster Sauce" because of the white rooster on the label. One of my favorite "snacks" is saltine crackers with a slice of ham on top and a thin coating of rooster sauce. And try juevos rancheros with rooster sauce sometime.

You're right about Tabasco. It's interesting in small quantities but if you use enough to build up any real heat then the 'sourness' of it becomes distracting. Best thing I can say about Tabasco is that when I was in the military in the '80s, the miniature bottles of Tabasco that were in certain MREs made those MREs palatable.

I agree. In many circumstances, there’s nothing like a splash of hot sauce to liven thing up! Tabasco is tried and true; it’s a known vector. I wouldn’t even think of tackling shellfish (etc) without it. It’s when such things become the “main event” that I begin to lose interest: Accent vs. Sole/Overwhelming Flavor.
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