[Sca-cooks] capsicums

Ysabeau lady.ysabeau at gmail.com
Tue Mar 6 06:19:31 PST 2007

That is exactly it...there is a difference between heat and flavor. Everyone
has a different tolerance level at which flavor gives way to heat. When my
family makes salsa using the "secret family recipe", I like the flavor of
the fresh jalapenos and other peppers...but not to the point where all I get
is heat. My heat tolerance is a lot lower than my dad's or my uncle's...but
it is much higher than the average person.

I think the quote about the baby boomers is interesting. My experience with
"older" folks (no offense to anyone out there...I'm referring to my
grandparents and their siblings) is that they either go to one extreme or
another. My maternal grandfather (West Virginia) would not eat anything with
seasonings. He ate the same thing every day - a broiled unseasoned hamburger
patty, mashed potato (instant), and a salad with mayo on it. If my
grandmother tried to put any seasoning in anything, he wouldn't eat it. On
the other hand, my maternal grandmother (Polish from Chicago) would spice
things up to the point where it was almost unedible to us kids. She said it
was the only way she could taste it. I've noticed with the next generation
of family members that the spicing is increasing over the years...toss in an
extra jalapeno, a little more cayenne, an extra dash of this and a spoonful
of that.

Another thing...I saw an article about food tourism recently. I didn't read
the whole thing but it was about the tours centered around cooking schools
and restaurant tours. Now...going way off topic here...it seems to me that
our society has progressed so far beyond the basic heirarchy of needs (food,
shelter, safety) that we are pushing the extremes in every direction -
sports, housing (McMansions), etc. Food and seasoning is just an offshoot of
this. The next food trend - Extreme spicing!

Just some random thoughts as I finish my coffee,

On 3/5/07, Saint Phlip <phlip at 99main.com> wrote:
> Well, you guys see the difficulty as being too much capsicum pepper on
> things, I see it rather differently, being a lover of the peppers
> myself.
> The problem is not the usage of the peppers, per se, but the
> indiscriminate usage by people who don't understand the usage of hot
> peppers, and how their specific flavors can enhance foods.
> Now, Margali and I are Mutt-n-Jeff, as far as spicing foods goes. For
> any given recipe, she'll halve the amount of spices and I'll double
> them ;-) And, she strongly dislikes capsicum peppers, although she
> occasionally enjoys wasabi or horseradish.
> However, where she just sees heat in the spices I love, I find heat
> and flavor. Occasionally, she'll try to spice something up to my
> liking, but all she manages to do is add heat- and that's not what I'm
> looking for. I have a fairly wide selection of hot spices, and I mix
> and balance rthem to what I like- if you can't taste past the heat,
> you just aren't going to find that balance.
> And, this is where you guys who don't like hot peppers are suffering.
> The people who are spicing these foods are looking at Paul Prudhomme,
> or Emeril, and saying, 'Oh, all he's doing is adding hot peppers and
> everyone is paying big bucks for his food" and adding hot peppers with
> somewhat less successful results, and that's NOT all either of them
> are doing- there's an underlayment to the food that they're totally
> missing. It's sort of like Medieval food and brown goo- yes, some
> Medieval foods can come out looking like brown goo- but just because
> it's brown goo doesn't mean it's Medieval food.
> If it makes any of you guys feel better, the indiscriminate use of hot
> peppers annoys me too- and I like them. The only reason I don't
> complain is because it's making more varieties of hot peppers
> accessible to me, along with some very nice condiments. Mrs Dash's
> Southwest Chipotle seasoning is a very nice blend, for example, much
> better than their Extra Spicy although so help me I can't taste the
> advertised chipotles- OTOH, I can now GET chipotles- used to be very
> hard to come by.
> --
> Saint Phlip
> Heat it up
> Hit it hard
> Repent as necessary.
> Priorities:
> It's the smith who makes the tools, not the tools which make the smith.
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