Gentle readers, today we are talking not just spice, but heat. Not to point fingers squarely at my British roots, but English, the language, struggles to capture the subtle differences with the word “hot.” One must distinguish between spicy hot and temperature hot, instead of just saying caliente or calor. The Practical Cook does not back down from either, within the bounds of reason.
Why am I blathering on about word choice? Because I’ve come to truly enjoy spicy and temperature hot food in the summer. Sure, I love ice-cold watermelon and popsicles, but just a few days ago, I wanted bubbling hot soup. Strange? Perhaps, but maybe there’s a reason.
Cue the music. (Yes, I’ve used this before, but welcome to the soundtrack that is my head.)
Now, in the interest of science, I did some research (quick) on this topic. Here’s the hard-hitting ABC News piece on the topic of the cooling effect of hot and spicy food. Basically, millions of people can’t be completely wrong. I did stay well-hydrated, as the soup is a liquid (Veggie Dumpling Tofu Soup, medium spicy please), and I did feel cooler after eating it.
As referenced in the post on the Pork Shank Molcajete, I’m a fan of the bubbling hot soups of Korea. Since I don’t have a kevlar throat, I do let it cool a bit before diving in. But while it’s cooling, I’m eating the Korean answer to bread and butter pickles, which are spicy!
This week, more heat, more humidity, complete Indian buffet craving. Perhaps I am seeking balance to my summer rolls and cold fried chicken. Perhaps I crave vegetables more than meat in the heat (I tend to eat vegetarian at both my Korean and Indian haunts).
Is it just me? Where do you stand in the spicy/hot in summertime debate?
(And for the NC natives, the Korean restaurant I adore is Vit Goal in Durham, NC. If you go with me, she will know my order before I give it. Not that I have a problem, I can quit any time . . .)
What’s on the table for you this summer? Send your pictures and blog requests to practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Like, like, like! Press “like” on Facebook today!)
Tomorrow, Kitchen Tool Talk: Cookbook Edition.