Monday, January 16, 2012

January 16: International Hot and Spicy Food Day & Fig Newton Day

Fig Newton Day

I need to start looking ahead more on the calendar.  Had I realized it was Fig Newton Day, I might have purchased a package.  I can't recall the last time I had a Fig Newton or one of the "Fig Newton Wannabes" (I suppose those are more accurately called fig bar cookies) but I do remember them being fairly tasty.  True Fig Newtons are the fig-flavored ones but the strawberry ones are yummy, too.  They don't do well as a "toss-'em-in-a-bag" snack - you need to keep in them a hard-sided container if you're going to have them as a take-along snack because they're so soft. 

International Hot and Spicy Food

I think I celebrate this day more often than any other day.  I love, love, LOVE spicy food.  Kimchee, Korean hot pot, Chinese Hot and Sour Soup.... all foods I've had in the last couple of weeks.  I top just about everything with a probably-not-healthy-for-me helping of crushed red peppers.  Jalepeños are a staple in my fridge and I recently bought piquins.  (Supposedly, they rank at 70,000 Scoville units but I nibbled on one without any problems.)  Habañero salasa?  Love it.

I have a habit of eating spicy foods, even when I shouldn't.  At House of Blues once, I ordered a jambalaya that was decorated with a pepper.  I can't remember the name of the pepper, but the waitress warned me not to eat it, claiming it was "the hottest pepper you could get."  I seriously doubt that now that I've done more research on peppers, but when she took our plates at the end of dinner, I had eaten most of the pepper, which had shocked her.

The only time I can come up with a pepper besting me is when I went to dinner with friends at Stone Brewery in Escondido, CA. A friend ordered a dish with "Thai peppers" and accidentally injested one.  She ended up claiming all the liquid at the table and then some.  Extremely wary of the peppers now, she gave them to me.  I nibbled on one and felt my lips go numb.  I was in heaven.

I don't know if there's something broken with my taste receptors or if I just love the challenge of eating spicier and spicier foods, but I love it when I find something truly spicy.  If someone swears up and down it's spicy, I'm gonna eat it.  I love the shows Heat Seekers and Man v. Food.  I frequenly bookmark the places they go to and plan roadtrips.  I recently saw a repeat episode of Man v. Food where Adam Richmond went to San Jose for a wings challenge.  Watching that show, I was getting annoyed that I've never been to Smoke Eaters so it's now on my list.  I'd love to eat the Hellfire Challenge, but I couldn't do it - I just don't eat that fast.  I could probably handle the burn, but there is no way I can eat 12 wings in 10 minutes.

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