Two declarations you may hear spicy food lovers proudly make with glee are that ‘they can’t make it too hot for me’ and ‘it isn’t hot unless it makes you sweat’. While some diners shudder at the thought of a spicy dish or condiment, the other more adventurous ones take the challenge on with great joy, excitement, and anticipation.
So, if you fall into that second camp and you find yourself feeling like you’ve tried it all here, maybe it is time for you to venture out into the world a little more. Does that sound good?
As the world-renowned chef Emeril Lagasse loved to say on his Food Network cooking show, ‘let’s kick it up a notch’ and explore some cultures that can claim the spiciest foods. Can you handle it? Put on your best pair of eating pants and let’s go.
When people think of spicy food, it would be a shock if their first thought was not of Thailand. Start your Thai journey with some amazing Tom Yum soup with chicken and work your way up the spice scale to some gaeng tai pla. DINER TIP: When the server asks ‘Thai hot or American hot?’, that should tell you something.
The next stop on our great culinary adventure is India. Red and green chilies, curry, and pepper come together to bring food lovers some of the most mind-blowing spicy food on the planet. Everything from beef or lamb rogan josh to green chili chicken, you’re bound to find something to suit your palate. DINER TIP: Be sure to order some nice naan bread to balance out the heat.
Chinese is probably what many people think of when asked about spicy food, and with good reason. The many diverse regions of China offer restaurant goers a wide variety of epicurean delights. Start your meal with some hot an sour soup and then turn up the food flame with some ma po tofu or dan dan noodles, both from the Sichuan region. DINER TIP: If you see something floating around in your meal that looks like a small piece of chicken, DON’T EAT IT because it’s probably an insanely hot chili pepper of some sort.