I have a client who goes by the name of Sandy. A big dude named Sandy who lives all the way out in Graves end with his father and sells insurance. Sandy also has a hobby, he likes to make hot sauce.
When I found this out I asked for some, and when I came around next visit, he had a mason jar of red hot sauce waiting for me. He asked me to try it, said he put in two ghost chilis. I took a spoon and dipped in the sauce and put the end of it in my mouth. The was a sour, tangy flavor, and then a slow rising heat running up the back of my scalp. It was hot, but certainly wasn’t overwhelming and still maintained flavor. Hot sauce just for the sake of being hot was never impressive, it still had to have a balance of flavor and heat in my opinion.
At the bodega mani has a bunch of ghost chilis that he is always trying to get someone to eat. When I was much younger and dumber I worked at pizza hut. I worked there with several friends, who came in while I was still working. Jason came up to me and asked if I would eat a pepper for twenty dollars.
Without blinking and for a whopping twenty dollars I didn’t hesitate to set my mouth a blaze, not realizing that putting it out would be much more complicated. I got ice water, no effect. Milk: no effect. I started eating raw cheese: no effect, finally someone gave me a cigarette, and that neutralized it. Later I learned salt was what I should have used.
My brother lives here in New York as well and both of us having grown up in Texas have come to the opinion that New Yorkers have no clue what real heat is. I am talking about people born and raised here, not the transplants. Transplants from Guyana, or Mexico, or Indonesia know heat, I won’t deny this. But the locals, usually Jewish, Puerto Rican or Italian, even black folks, do not eat spicy food.
In the upper west side is a wing spot that offers a free pint of beer if you can eat one order of the “suicide” wings. Brian (my brother) felt they weren’t spicy at all so, after knocking out the 1st round of “suicide”, he orders a second asking for them to be made as hot as possible. Once again, my brother is not impressed, and after a couple more beers, starts talking shit and tells the waiter “listen, tell the chef to cut it out with these pussy wings, and make them spicy”.
The cook must have gotten the message, because the wings were dowsed in something so ridiculously hot, my brother couldn’t even finish em. Maybe it was a combination of that and all the beer, but at this point he had broken the seal, and headed to the bathroom. Slightly intoxicated my brother apparently didn’t think to wash his hands ahead of this and upon whipping out his johnson, spreading the “suicide sauce” to that area of his body. Reating to the crippling pain he touched his face in agony, smearing suicide sauce in his eyes, and well there went the evening.
The only thing worse than that is when it all had to come out. Then it’s fire in the hole, fuego en te culedo and a mess only wetwipes can clean up.
When I lived in Sf, I can remember once scoring from an old wheel chair bound junkie who quickly informed me of a new Thai restaurant he was going to hit up. Totally unsolicited, he went on to elaborate “if it doesn’t burn coming out, it’s not hot enough”.
I really didn’t want to know. Now I know how Sara felt when outside of Mackins deli, A bum overheard me trying to convince her that the deli had amzing banana pudding. The bum chimed in the pudding was ‘better than cumming”. Sara was disgusted, and I just knew better than to continue that sales pitch.
I use green habanero sauce for my eggs (yes, green eggs), I use the red devil cayenne for my grits and guacamole, and I use cayenne powder for my red sauce.
Once while shopping with Devin I picked up a container of cayenne powder that I immediately noticed had a crack on the side. So I put it down and picked up another one, not hesitating to rub my eye. I realized immediately just how careless I was and started laughing even though I had just rendered my right eye useless. I decided to simply wrap things up as Devan and I headed for the checkout. No sooner did 30 seconds go by I rubbed my other eye. I was dumbfounded at just how idiotic I was acting, handed Devan the money, and asked her to pay for everything while I stood outside. I was below freezing out and I figured it might speed up the recovery process, or at least make it all more tolerable.
I stood outside, technically blind by that point. I lit a cigarette and just standing there with both eyes closed, tears running down my cheeks, and laughing as I had to accept the truth, this was comically pathetic.
I went washed my hands and started cooking, suspiciously eyeing the cayenne as I poured it into the sauce. Just what every flavor needs…a little danger.