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Source: (consider it) Thread: Chillies, peppers and gingers
Ariel
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# 58

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What's your take on chillies, peppers and ginger in food or drink? The more the merrier, or not for you? Are you happy at the further end of the Scoville scale, or is a mere glance from a distance enough? Are any of these kitchen essentials for you, or do you prefer life without them?

(The general heading also includes such things as peri-peri and harissa. If it sets fire to your palate, it's in there.)

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Leorning Cniht
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quote:
Originally posted by Ariel:
What's your take on chillies, peppers and ginger in food or drink?

Food - yes, to all of the above. I don't eat as much spicy food as I used to because the children aren't fire-eaters.

Drink - no. Spicy drinks don't do it for me. It just feels wrong. I don't even like mulled wine / cider.

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MrsBeaky
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I love all of the above in food.
The only one I like in a drink is ginger. When we were living in Kenya our friends would press us to have a soda when we visited them. The only ones I could actually enjoy were bitter lemon and Stoneys ginger. They were packed full of sugar (miraculously I still have most of my own teeth.....) but did not taste sickly sweet.

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Ariel
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# 58

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Fever Tree and Fentiman's ginger beer manage to be fiery and not too sweet. I find the rest too sugary and mild.

I recently bought something called Pimento which is French ginger beer with a chilli kick - lovely stuff if you like the heat but a bit sweeter than the other two.

I like hot spices in food, though there are limits; most West African and the hotter Asian dishes are beyond me.

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Firenze

Ordinary decent pagan
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I always have fresh chillies on hand: but the available selection is limited - jalapenos are common, but only 5,000 Scovilles (which, after cooking, translates to 'barely detectable'). I recently found Barak chillies in Asda which are a presentable 50,000. I would happily make those my everyday chilli if Zi could find them more widely. Other than that, its Birdseye or Scotch Bonnet - I like the latter for its fruitiness, but at 500,000, it's not always appropriare.

There is a lot more available in powder and sauce form - rather too much. I find those a lot harder to calibrate than the fresh form.

I also keep fresh ginger root on hand and throw it into stir fries and curries with gay abandon - but I don't find it a particularly strong flavour.

I also get washabi paste - a little of that will lift salmon or tuna mayonnaise sandwiches I find.

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Schroedinger's cat

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# 64

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Yes yes yes. Most food I eat has chilli in it. I am currently growing my own chillis, and most weeks I will harvest some to cook with.

One day I will get a chance to cook with Scotch Bonnets and suchlike, to get the real burning heat, but the rest of the family are not as hot-loving, so it is difficult.

Drinks - I am OK with ginger but not so sure on others. I suppose I like my drinks to have their bite from the alcohol rather than anything else.

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Ariel
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quote:
Originally posted by Firenze:
Other than that, its Birdseye or Scotch Bonnet - I like the latter for its fruitiness, but at 500,000, it's not always appropriate.

There was a chilli stall at the market recently offering, among other things, the Carolina Reaper chilli, which is pretty much off the Scoville scale. Grown in Warwickshire, where they had a Chilli Festival last year.
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Golden Key
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# 1468

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Recently in the news:

"Ghost pepper burns hole in man's esophagus." (Chicago Tribune) AKA Bhut Jolokia pepper.

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mousethief

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# 953

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What is the difference between chillies and peppers? I thought they were the same thing. [Confused] [Help]

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Lothlorien
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# 4927

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Capsicum are sometimes called peppers down here.

I use quite a bit of chilli and have had scotch bonnets as a trial. Perhaps they are hotter in northern hemisphere but these were like most fresh chillies here. Nice, a bit of heat.

Ginger in drinks is pleasant and I like Stones green ginger wine on a cold evening. However as already noted above it is full of sugar. I have had none all year because of weight loss.

In Sri Lanka, my son ate a fiery chilli as a dareon a farm. The farmer was impressed. Smoke from ears and plenty of tears too. But it is better blended in to food, even if still hot. Much more pleasant.

A bakery at Ettalong on central coast here makes a chilli pie which is known through district. Son bought it but could not finish it. Not from the heat but the flavour was all wrong.

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Ariel
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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:What is the difference between chillies and peppers? I thought they were the same thing. [Confused] [Help]
I was thinking of black and white pepper. As in ground and peppercorns.
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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by Ariel:
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:What is the difference between chillies and peppers? I thought they were the same thing. [Confused] [Help]
I was thinking of black and white pepper. As in ground and peppercorns.
Ah, okay. Pond difference probably, as we would say "peppers" for capsicum spp. (including chilies) and "pepper" for various varieties of piper nigrum.

What a language!

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Graven Image
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I am very fond of ginger, in fact I grow my own ginger root so I always have it on hand. As to chillies I like medium heat. What I do not like is when they add chillies to things that are traditionally not spicy and do not say this on the menu. Beef stew for example.
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jedijudy

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# 333

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My home usually has quite a lot of spicy things. I like to cook with it and have just enjoyed a Dark and Stormy with a new brand of ginger beer that is fabulous! Very spicy and not too sweet.

Those million Scoville peppers would probably do me and my family in. If the tongue is on fire, it's hard to discern the yumminess of my seafood gumbo! IMHO!

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Piglet
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I must confess to being a bit of a heat wimp - if something either catches in my throat (ginger beer does, although I like ginger ale) or makes my eyelashes perspire [Eek!] I usually avoid it.

It's not that I don't like spices - I just prefer them to be gentle. I make chilli con carne with whatever sort of chilli powder we happen to have, but I'm fairly sparing with it (Firenze would probably think it was just spag. bog. with kidney-beans in it). [Big Grin]

Ditto curries - I sometimes make a chicken curry, but it's a very mild, gentle affair with turmeric, cardamom, coriander, cumin, powdered ginger (pace Wodders when he arrives [Big Grin] ) and cream.

eta: Now I think about it, I can take quite a lot of ordinary peppercorns (black or those pretty mixtures) - I wouldn't dream of eating potatoes sweetcorn or steak without a very generous grind of pepper - and it lifts a bowl of strawberries and cream into A Whole Nother Level. [Smile]

[ 23. October 2016, 00:23: Message edited by: Piglet ]

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Leorning Cniht
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# 17564

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quote:
Originally posted by jedijudy:

Those million Scoville peppers would probably do me and my family in. If the tongue is on fire, it's hard to discern the yumminess of my seafood gumbo! IMHO!

It's not the tongue that I find most sensitive...
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mousethief

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# 953

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quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:
quote:
Originally posted by jedijudy:

Those million Scoville peppers would probably do me and my family in. If the tongue is on fire, it's hard to discern the yumminess of my seafood gumbo! IMHO!

It's not the tongue that I find most sensitive...
What exactly do you DO with your chili peppers?

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Welease Woderwick

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# 10424

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We grow our own chillies and ginger and black pepper but tend to use combinations that make it tasty rather than fiery - by our own definition at any rate.

I love ginger in drinks or in quite a lot of food. I was in a Vietnamese restaurant in Seattle many years ago and they had the most wonderful ginger ice cream.

Our current Lady Who Looks After The Babies uses mountains of chilli powder in her own food - we put a portion aside for her from the normal cooking and she then "perks it up a bit" for her personal consumption.

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Ariel
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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:

It's not the tongue that I find most sensitive...
quote:
What exactly do you DO with your chili peppers?
As I recall it's about washing your hands after you've been chopping chillies. I'm sure shipmates' imagination can fill in the details. [Biased]
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Barnabas Aus
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I love ginger and use capsicum and black pepper readily in cooking. Chilli is just too strong for us. My ginger muffins to Stephanie Alexander's recipe are top sellers at the parish stall in our town's monthly markets. We often make our own ginger drinks with the bottled syrup from the Buderim Ginger factory, which I understand is the clarified cooking liquid. That way we can control and balance out the sweetness.
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Lothlorien
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Ginger, garlic, capsicum and garlic with a big squeeze from a lovely fresh lemon. At the end I stirred in some small mussels out of shells. Very good.

I like that ginger, but have not had it here just for myself.

I have a recipe for a triple ginger cake. Always a hit whenever Itake it out. Thensmell when I open the cake tin brings people to see what it is.

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Schroedinger's cat

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# 64

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Definitely need to wash hands after chopping them. And again before touching sensitive areas.

I think a lot of the really hot chilli types work really well if you use a small piece. You get the heat, but not in an overpowering way, but it does impact the taste profoundly.

I remember hearing that some of them are best used whole in a stew, and taken out after. And reused. For a week. There is enough flavour in them to do that.

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Gee D
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We like the flavour of chillies and the tang that they give food. OTOH, we run a few thousand kms from those who slice raw, unseeded chillies over everything, a fashion which afflicted restaurants here not so long ago. The answer we have found is to use a washed whole chilli or 2 in a dish, depending on size, and remove it before serving. If we want to add more heat, we might pierce the chilli a few times with a needle. You'd be surprised at the result, even with a Scotch Bonnet. Flavour, a good bite, put no rush for yoghurt and cucumber.

And alas - the variety available here is vastly less than in the US (as is the knowledge of how to cook with chillies). Why, we can't understand, as the climate in much of Aust is very similar to lots of eg Mexico, hot and dry.

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jedijudy

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# 333

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In several of the local restaurants, there has been a lot of spiciness showing up in dishes that were formerly un-spicy. That's fine for me, but I have a friend who can't tolerate any spice. He doesn't even use ground black pepper.

There should be a warning on the menu regarding the amount of spice heat in various dishes. Diners could be warned, or those of us who appreciate such things can anticipate a taste treat!

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Welease Woderwick

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The stuff that gives the heat in chillies is not water soluble but does dissolve in cooking oil so rubbing the hands with a little oil before you wash them is always a good idea.

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Cathscats
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No idea what kind of chillies I grew this year. I got six plants for 50p in a supermarket because they were more or less dead. But they all grew enormously in my greenhouse and produced little yellow peppers which fairly have us gasping for a cup of water. Now they are all harvested I have frozen them, and am using them as described above -whole and then removed before serving. Still plenty spicy for us! [Mad]

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Og, King of Bashan

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# 9562

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quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:
quote:
Originally posted by jedijudy:

Those million Scoville peppers would probably do me and my family in. If the tongue is on fire, it's hard to discern the yumminess of my seafood gumbo! IMHO!

It's not the tongue that I find most sensitive...
I'm picking up what you're putting down here...

I'm not a heat for heat's sake kind of guy. I like the fruity flavor you get out of a habanero, but won't pile them on to look tough.

I'm a big fan of chipotles, especially at this time of year, when earthy smoke goes with everything. Meatballs in chipotle sauce are heavenly, and I make a sweet potato and chipotle dish for Thanksgiving that is always a huge hit.

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Piglet
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# 11803

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quote:
Originally posted by jedijudy:
... There should be a warning on the menu regarding the amount of spice heat ...

There's a chain of restaurants in Eastern Canada called Wing'n It and their menu defines the heat with little chilli symbols. Their hottest sauce, called NFOD (No Fear Of Death) carries 10 chilli symbols, and you have to sign a waiver before you eat them ... [Eek!]

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Leorning Cniht
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# 17564

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quote:
Originally posted by Ariel:
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:

It's not the tongue that I find most sensitive...
quote:
What exactly do you DO with your chili peppers?
As I recall it's about washing your hands after you've been chopping chillies. I'm sure shipmates' imagination can fill in the details. [Biased]

No, that wasn't what I was thinking at all (on that front, the worst I've done is get a finger a bit near my eyes when I scratched an itch with inadequately-washed hands.)

I'll just leave this here.

[ 23. October 2016, 20:18: Message edited by: Leorning Cniht ]

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Moo

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Many Asian restaurant menus around here put a symbol beside the dishes which are hot.

Moo

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Ariel:
What's your take on chillies, peppers and ginger in food or drink?

Yes, please! Flavour, not heat should be the primary consideration, IMO. Warmth to accompany that favour is welcome.

quote:
Fever Tree and Fentiman's ginger beer manage to be fiery and not too sweet. I find the rest too sugary and mild.
Heartily agree. Too much sugar spoils the pleasure of the ginger.
quote:
Originally posted by Og, King of Bashan:

I'm a big fan of chipotles,

I am as well. Jalapeños are nice, but smoking them elevates them to a higher level.
quote:
Originally posted by Ariel:
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:

It's not the tongue that I find most sensitive...
quote:
What exactly do you DO with your chili peppers?
As I recall it's about washing your hands after you've been chopping chillies. I'm sure shipmates' imagination can fill in the details. [Biased]

It is about balance; Yin and Yang, ebb and flow, entry and exit.

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Og, King of Bashan

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I suppose I should mention that one of our family's regular meals is New Mexico style green chili. In fact, I just whipped up a pot. I like pork in mine, but you can easily make it vegan if you want.

-Cube a pork tenderloin and brown it in 2 tablespoons of oil (leave it out for vegan, natch).

-Remove the pork from the pot, and add to pot one diced onion and four chopped garlic cloves. Cook till onion is translucent.

-Add 1 teaspoon corn starch or 2 teaspoons flour (I go with the corn starch so that it remains accidentally gluten free), stir in to onions.

-Slowly add one cup stock (beef is best, chicken works, but once again, vegetable for vegan), stir in flour or corn starch, then add one more cup stock.

-Stir in 1 teaspoon (Mexican) oregano, 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, 1//2 teaspoon ground coriander seed, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and one can of diced, fire roasted tomatoes, drained.

-Also stir in 2 cups diced roasted mild or medium green chilies. (We use Hatch or Anaheim, find them in a can if you don't have guys selling them on every corner in September. Poblano would work, Bell would probably result in an OK but not quite all the way there variation).

Simmer for 20 minutes. Serve as a stew with cheese, sour cream, and tortillas or on top of burritos or eggs. One scoop on top of beans and rice is a simple and delicious meal.

Dump on some tamales with fried eggs and a cold beer, and you have our traditional Christmas breakfast.

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Og, King of Bashan

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Oh, and stir in browned pork with chilies. [Hot and Hormonal]

[ 24. October 2016, 02:51: Message edited by: Og, King of Bashan ]

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Fredegund
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His Nibs has created his own chilli oil with Carolina Reaper. He intends to give it as Christmas presents. I prophecy a reduction in the number of friends. Now if he stuck to mint-infused vodka....

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Sipech
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I'm a bit of a chilli head. The inside drawer of my fridge is stacked full of pepper sauces. The most mild I have is habanero, which is a couple of hundred thousand scoville. The hottest is a sauce made from trinidad scorpion peppers, which is about a million scoville.

There does come a point when the heat eliminates the taste. For me, the border between the two is found in the ghost chilli. A teaspoon of that sauce in a bowl of vegetable soup was really rather warm, but didn't add the nice fruitiness of milder peppers.

Scotch bonnets are probably the most flavoursome, but not everyone can handle them.

The one I really don't get, though, is the combination of chilli with chocolate. It just doesn't go. It ruins the chocolate and makes for a nasty feeling in the mouth that lingers.

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St. Gwladys
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There's a place called The House of Chilli on the Isle of Wight, and we visit whenever we're out there. It's a smallish unit, and all it sells is chilli related products. There are tasting tables - green, for mild, Amber, red and black - taste the products by all means, but you have been warned! They sell chilli balsamic vinegars and hot apple jelly which are on the green table, and which we tend to stock up on, also a very good chilli con carne spice mix. We are always tempted to get some chilli gummy bears in case we get trick or treaters...
(They have a website)

I love ginger, and tend to put double the quantity of spice and crystallised ginger into the recipe I have for a Grasmere gingerbread. I've come across GinGins, which are really warm ginger chewy sweets. Holland and Barrett, the health food shop, sells them.

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Og, King of Bashan

Ship's giant Amorite
# 9562

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quote:
Originally posted by Sipech:
The one I really don't get, though, is the combination of chilli with chocolate. It just doesn't go. It ruins the chocolate and makes for a nasty feeling in the mouth that lingers.

I will agree with you on this one, at least as far as chocolate chili bars are concerned. But I will note that while it seems like a modern invention, the idea of mixing chocolate and chilies predates European knowledge of either ingredient- Mayan chocolate drinks contained cocoa seeds ground together with chilies, maize, and other ingredients. And that idea stuck around in Mexican cuisine- black mole contains chocolate and about four or five different kinds of dried chilies, along with various other dried fruits, nuts, seeds, and other spices.

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lilBuddha
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# 14333

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ISTM, it is the type and amount of chili that makes or breaks the experience with chocolate. As with anything trendy, idea often trumps implementation.
Despite liking both chili and chocolate,* I had been of the same mind. Until I found a chocolatier who got it right. It has to be dark chocolate, preferably one with fruity notes, and the chili has to hide behind the cacao amid the aftertones, just warming the tongue as the taste fades in your mouth.
The type of chili might matter, I suspect that most people just add something for heat, not flavour.

* Love chocolate actually. Well, even Love is inadequate, I mean, one loves people and people are a poor substitute for chocolate.


ETA: Mole Negro is fantastic! As long as it is not too sweet and, surprising as it might be to hear from me, the chocolate should not dominate. It should be strong and present, but not overwhelm the rest of the dish.
It should not taste like a dessert sauce.

[ 24. October 2016, 16:24: Message edited by: lilBuddha ]

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Ariel
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# 58

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quote:
Originally posted by jedijudy:
In several of the local restaurants, there has been a lot of spiciness showing up in dishes that were formerly un-spicy. That's fine for me, but I have a friend who can't tolerate any spice. He doesn't even use ground black pepper.

There should be a warning on the menu regarding the amount of spice heat in various dishes. Diners could be warned, or those of us who appreciate such things can anticipate a taste treat!

I completely agree with this. There are people who can't have hot spices because of medical problems, and not being forewarned is quite unkind. Especially when you think you're expecting a nice normal beef stew and then find you can't eat anything but the vegetable accompaniments. There seems to have been a bit of a fad recently in some restaurants for adding a touch of chillies to a lot of things that never used to have them, which just wastes the chef's time and the diner's money.

Chillies and ginger are said to be good for colds - I know I've certainly found them helpful. A strong enough dose of either seems to dry up the cold fairly quickly. Even overnight, sometimes.

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keibat
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I'm perhaps not all that surprised to note that *all* contributors to this thread are scovillists, but was pleased to note a couple of references to the heretics like myself who are unable to eat peppers, by any definition (i.e. spices or capsica), without shall we delicately say distressing digestive consequences. Other spices such as turmeric, etc, are similarly counter-advised.With the capsica, it's an enzyme deficiency, which a little American pill called Beano addresses reasonably effectively (developed for those who eat too many beans, but the enzyme in question seems to be the same); with the spices, I guess it's just accumulated wear and tear on the digestive tract. I am enormously grateful to restaurants that flag spicy foods, but actually I really need to negotiate with restaurants for pepper- and spice-FREE portions, which is both a drag and not always possible. Enjoy your scovilles, shipmates, but spare a prayer for the scovilllianly challenged. – Also, there is an enjoyable scifi novel by the Finnish author Johanna Sinisalo about an alternative history where Finland becomes a repressive patriarchal republic where capsica are banned, and are therefore highly sought-after. I'll see if I can hunt down an English translation for the Finnish-challenged.

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Bene Gesserit
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On Saturday, my OH and I went to a Sausage Festival(!!) in Lincoln, and one of the first stalls in the Castle grounds was a small company (a one man band?) selling chilli jams and other scovillian products. I came away with a jar of lime pickle that contains chilli jam made with ghost chilli (Bhut jolokia). It has quite a tang to it!!

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basso

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# 4228

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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Love chocolate actually. Well, even Love is inadequate, I mean, one loves people and people are a poor substitute for chocolate.

Quotes file!
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Piglet
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I'd like some advice: the current jar of chilli powder in the cupboard chez Piglet is labelled "Ancho" (I think it just happened to be what D. bought in the supermarket).

It's very dark-coloured, and D., who uses it to flavour the oil he fries onions in to make cheesy potato mash, said he was wary of overdoing it, as it looked a bit fierce.

How does it differ from ordinary chilli powder?

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Og, King of Bashan

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More earthy, less hot.

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Firenze

Ordinary decent pagan
# 619

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quote:
Originally posted by keibat:
– Also, there is an enjoyable scifi novel by the Finnish author Johanna Sinisalo about an alternative history where Finland becomes a repressive patriarchal republic where capsica are banned, and are therefore highly sought-after. I'll see if I can hunt down an English translation for the Finnish-challenged.

That sounds jolly. What is the presumed link between the repression and the anti-spiciness? Do chillies make you more anti-authoritarian? More feminist? Or do they just stand for an element of nonconformity ecause of their strong taste and bright colour?
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Golden Key
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Fredegund--

quote:
Originally posted by Fredegund:
His Nibs has created his own chilli oil with Carolina Reaper. He intends to give it as Christmas presents. I prophecy a reduction in the number of friends. Now if he stuck to mint-infused vodka....

Adventurous of him! Maybe he could note the spicyness strength on the label? And also list remedies for "way too hot" emergencies.

I had a very bad incident at a restaurant. Went through many pitchers of water. No good. Finally switched to milk, and *that* helped. Was told later that fat (e.g., milk fat) and starch (e.g., bread) both work. (Though I'm not sure I'd use an oil for the fat. Would it hold chemical heat the way it holds temperature heat? Sorry if that's silly.)

Very much YMMV. There are probably online articles on first aid for pepper emergencies.

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Gee D
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quote:
Originally posted by jedijudy:
In several of the local restaurants, there has been a lot of spiciness showing up in dishes that were formerly un-spicy. That's fine for me, but I have a friend who can't tolerate any spice. He doesn't even use ground black pepper.

There should be a warning on the menu regarding the amount of spice heat in various dishes. Diners could be warned, or those of us who appreciate such things can anticipate a taste treat!

Restaurants here been through a fashion of having raw unseeded chillies sliced and scattered over the top of a dish as part of the plating. Who knows where the chefs get their ideas from or why. Some years ago, there was a fashion for sliced raw onion over dishes. That extended to the smoked salmon served on the breakfast flights of domestic services. The whole plane stank of it.

The best remedy for a mouth burnt by overdone chilli is a few mouthfuls of plain ordinary yoghurt, but a fruit one will do nearly as well. Or a glass of milk. Then a bread roll, or boiled rice to follow. Not water, not wine.

[ 25. October 2016, 07:18: Message edited by: Gee D ]

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Golden Key
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# 1468

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Gee D--

The smell of raw onion on a plane would be disturbing. But, IMHO, the smoked salmon you mentioned could be, too!

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Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?"--Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon"
--"I'm not giving up--and neither should you." --SNL

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Welease Woderwick

Sister Incubus Nightmare
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quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
Fredegund--

quote:
Originally posted by Fredegund:
His Nibs has created his own chilli oil with Carolina Reaper. He intends to give it as Christmas presents. I prophecy a reduction in the number of friends. Now if he stuck to mint-infused vodka....

Adventurous of him! Maybe he could note the spicyness strength on the label? And also list remedies for "way too hot" emergencies.

I had a very bad incident at a restaurant. Went through many pitchers of water. No good. Finally switched to milk, and *that* helped. Was told later that fat (e.g., milk fat) and starch (e.g., bread) both work. (Though I'm not sure I'd use an oil for the fat. Would it hold chemical heat the way it holds temperature heat? Sorry if that's silly.)

Very much YMMV. There are probably online articles on first aid for pepper emergencies.

A little spoonful, or possibly a big spoonful, of yoghurt is your friend in such circumstances - water or beer does not help at all, it just spreads it all over.

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Jengie jon

Semper Reformanda
# 273

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We went out for my mums eightieth birthday to a Chinese buffet. Dad picked up a green salad with some small red chillies in it. Dad had avoided chilli for the decade before. You can guess what happened

Now getting a glass of milk or yoghurt in a buffet style restaurant in no easy task; so my nephew was dispatched pdq to the ice-cream counter. Maybe not as effective but it seemed to work.

I think nephew finished off the chillies.

Jengie

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