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Until today, I was never scared of hot food

For those who know me personally, you know I like my spicy food hot and my hot food incendiary. I grew up eating my grandmother’s cooking (may she rest in peace). Grandma was an excellent cook, but wasn’t really into the spices that much. Since I lived in Buffalo, good chicken wings were always easy to get, and you could pick your heat level. As a youth, I was always a bit afraid and stuck to the mediums.

Mother Vargas remarried when I was 13. My new step father is a great guy and Italian. Most Italians like spicy and my step dad was no exception. He introduced me to a world of hot that I don’t want to leave.

It started with hot chicken wings and went from there. By my late teens, I was able to eat jalapeño peppers without any problem. The heat was great, but I wanted more!

Some people love hot foods. Others simply don’t get it. I love the heat, but really enjoy the endorphin rush afterward. It’s hard to explain. It’s also terribly addicting. As you eat hot foods, you discover that it takes more and more heat to get “the reaction”. If you’ve had “the reaction” you know what I’m talking about. If you haven’t, I cannot explain it. The only way to really find out is to jump in and start eating really hot foods.

With more and more heat required for “the reaction”, you slowly build up resistance to heat and are able to eat foods that would put other people into the hospital. This takes time, practice, and lots of hot sauces. Lots of water, too.

When I was growing up, hot sauce generally meant a milder sauce like “Franks” or “Crystal”, or the very hot stuff, Tabasco. I have never really cared for Tabasco, but I remember the days when a few drops of that was hotter than hot. Tabasco and ketchup get about the same reaction from me these days. Ho hum. Not much heat. My hot sauce collection spans the gamut from mild to wild. Some I like for flavor, while others are pure heat.

Since acquiring a taste for heat, I have never really been intimidated by a hot product. I have eaten scotch bonnets, habaneros, Dave’s Insanity (straight on a cracker), and a few other things that left much more than a tingle behind. I have even gone into Indian restaurants and issued challenges to the chefs to make it as hot as they can. There are a few things I won’t try because I know they’re beyond my body’s tolerance. I’m crazy, but not insane. No food is worth a trip to the hospital, although the occasional chemical burn is tolerable.

Well, I should re-state that. I have never been intimidated until today. I found a product so sinisterly hot, that reading about it actually scared me. I felt a mild tug at my heart. I would be afraid to be around this stuff.

So, what is it?

It’s called “Blair’s 16 Million Reserve” and it’s pure capsaicin and nothing else. This is the devil’s own food. There’s a great review of it here:….

At $249 a bottle, it’s out of my price range. At 16 million Scoville units, it’s out of my league. Actually, anything that hot is pretty much beyond human tolerance. And if you’re thinking about giving me a gift, don’t buy this. It will sit on a shelf. Get me some Tahiti Joe’s Tropic Garlic instead. It’s much better on hamburgers and doesn’t require a trip to the emergency room.

Published Thu 11/17/05 at 6:45pm

Categorized in Food & Drink

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