Hot chilli

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There was a savory mince stand at Caleb’s school fete a couple of weeks ago and Kristy picked-up some hot chili mince that they were having trouble selling (because of how hot it was).

We ended-up having it for dinner the other night and I just finished the last of it for lunch. The interesting thing about hot food is that it doesn’t matter how much warning you have, you’ll never truly appreciate how hot something is until you’ve tried it yourself.

I like spicy foods, but this was HOT… now I know you’re probably reading this thinking – I bet it wasn’t that hot, which is exactly what I thought when Kristy told me how hot it was… and like how Kristy didn’t believe the guy who sold her the mince with the disclaimer that it’s hot.

Even Caleb didn’t think it was as that hot, until he tried a small spoonful of it. We intentionally made Caleb something else for dinner that night because he doesn’t really like spicy food (which is fine) but he asked if he could try some, so we gave him a small mouthful and at first he did the standard waving of the hands in front of the mouth with a surprised expression on his face to say “yeah this is a bit spicy”… but that’s when it must have hit him and he really discovered the true meaning of the word HOT.

The poor little guys eyes started to water, his face went red, he was sweating and randomly grasping at anything he could get his hands on that may potentially cool his mouth. He guzzled a drink before we could tell him it wouldn’t make much difference, and we suggested he eat some lettuce or cucumber. Well, he started grabbing handfulls of cucumber as if he had never seen food before in his life…

As cruel as it may sound, it was one of the funniest things I had seen in ages and it reminded me of the following that was emailed to me a while ago and it still makes me chuckle:

NATAL CURRY CONTEST

If you can read this whole story without laughing then there’s no hope for you. Note: Please take time to read this slowly. For those of you who have lived in Natal, you know how typical this is. They actually have a Curry Cook-off about June/July. It takes up a major portion of a parking lot at the Royal Show in PMB.

Judge #3 was an inexperienced food critic named Frank, who was Visiting from America.

Frank: “Recently, I was honoured to be selected as a judge at a Curry Cook-off. The original person called in sick at the last moment and I happened to be standing there at the judge’s table asking for directions to the Beer Garden when the call came in. I was assured by the other two judges (Natal Indians) that the curry wouldn’t be all that spicy and, besides, they told me I could have free beer during The tasting, so I accepted”.

Here are the scorecard notes from the event:

CURRY # 1 – SEELAN’S MANIAC MONSTER TOMATO CURRY…

Judge # 1 — A little too heavy on the tomato. Amusing kick.
Judge # 2 — Nice smooth tomato flavour. Very mild.
Judge # 3 (Frank) — Holy shit, what the hell is this stuff? You could remove dried paint from your driveway with it. Took me two beers to put the flames out. I hope that’s the worst one. These people are crazy.

CHILI #2 – PHOENIX BBQ CHICKEN CURRY…

Judge # 1 — Smoky, with a hint of chicken. Slight chilli tang.
Judge # 2 — Exciting BBQ flavour, needs more peppers to be taken seriously.
Judge # 3 — Keep this out of the reach of children. I’m not sure what I’m supposed to taste besides pain. I had to wave off two people who wanted to give me the Heimlich maneuver! They had to rush in more beer when they saw the look on my face.

CURRY # 3 – SHAMILA’S FAMOUS “BURN DOWN THE GARAGE” CURRY…

Judge # 1 — Excellent firehouse curry. Great kick.
Judge # 2 — A bit salty, good use of chilli peppers.
Judge # 3 — Call 911. I’ve located a uranium pill. My nose feels like I have been snorting Drain cleaner. Everyone knows the routine by now. Get me more beer before I ignite. Barmaid pounded me on the back, now my backbone is in the front part of my chest. I’m getting pissed from all the beer.

CHILI # 4 – BABOO’S BLACK MAGIC BEAN CURRY…

Judge # 1 — Black bean curry with almost no spice. Disappointing.
Judge # 2 — Hint of lime in the black beans. Good side dish for fish or other mild foods, not much of a curry.
Judge # 3 — I felt something scraping across my tongue, but was unable to taste it. Is it possible to burn out taste buds? Shareen, the beer maid, was standing behind me with fresh refills. That 200kg woman is starting to look HOT…just like this nuclear waste I’m eating! Is chilli an aphrodisiac?

CHILI # 5 LALL’S LEGAL LIP REMOVER…

Judge # 1 — Meaty, strong curry. Cayenne peppers freshly ground, adding considerable kick. Very impressive.
Judge # 2 — Average beef curry, could use more tomato. Must admit the chilli peppers make a strong statement.
Judge # 3 — My ears are ringing, sweat is pouring off my forehead and I can no longer focus my eyes. I farted and four people behind me needed paramedics. The contestant seemed offended when I told her that her chilli had given me brain damage. Shareen saved my tongue from bleeding by pouring beer directly on it from the pitcher. I wonder if I’m burning my lips off. It really pisses me off that the other judges asked me to stop screaming. Screw them.

CHILI # 6 – VERISHNEE’S VEGETARIAN VARIETY…

Judge # 1 — Thin yet bold vegetarian variety curry. Good balance of spices and peppers.
Judge # 2 — The best yet. Aggressive use of peppers, onions, and garlic. Superb.
Judge # 3 — My intestines are now a straight pipe filled with gaseous, sulfuric flames. I am definitely going to s*** myself if I fart and I’m worried it will eat through the chair. No one seems inclined to stand behind me except that Shareen. Can’t feel my lips anymore. I need to wipe my ass with a snow cone ice-cream.

CHILI # 7 – SELINA’S “MOTHER-IN-LAW’S-TONGUE” CURRY…

Judge # 1 — A mediocre curry with too much reliance on canned peppers.
Judge # 2 — Ho hum, tastes as if the chef literally threw in a can of chilli peppers at the last moment. (I should take note at this stage that I am worried about Judge 3. He appears to be in a bit of distress as he is cursing uncontrollably).
Judge # 3 — You could put a grenade in my mouth, pull the pin, and I wouldn’t feel a thing. I’ve lost sight in one eye, and the world sounds like it is made of rushing water. My shirt is covered with curry which slid unnoticed out of my mouth. My pants are full of lava to match my shirt. At least, during the autopsy, they’ll know what killed me. I’ve decided to stop breathing – it’s too painful. Screw it; I’m not getting any oxygen anyway. If I need air I’ll just suck it in through the 4-inch hole in my stomach.

CHILI # 8 – NAIDOO’S TOENAIL CURLING CURRY…

Judge # 1 — The perfect ending. This is a nice blend curry. Not too bold but spicy enough to declare its existence.
Judge # 2 — This final entry is a good, balanced curry. Neither mild nor hot. Sorry to see that most of it was lost when Judge 3 farted, passed out, fell over and pulled the curry pot down on top of himself. Not sure if he’s going to make it. Poor man, wonder how he’d have reacted to really hot curry?
Judge # 3 — No Report.

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