Sunday Scribblings - Spicy

Three Mile Island

My good friend and golfing partner, Ramesh, is from India. If you picked that up from his name, you are paying attention and are probably quite worldly. I have been to his home for lunch or dinner several times. Having been all over the world, I am pretty open to trying anything that is considered food by other cultures. If you don’t know, much of the food of India tends to be quite spicy. Knowing that I am a bit of a wimp in that area, he and his wife Leela (also from India) advise me on the intensity level of each dish. While I find many of the foods delicious, I have stayed away from those of which the aroma made my sinuses begin to drain and my eyes tear worse than from viewing the end of “Old Yeller.”
I recently won a free, all you can eat, wing party at Hooters on a radio trivia contest. Yes, I know a lot of useless information. There were to be ten of us at the party. I arrived early to select our first order of wings. Hooters has several different levels of intensity for their chicken wings. I ordered an assortment ranging from Medium (I am not even wimp enough to order mild from a scantly dressed hostess) all the way up to their hottest, one named “Three Mile Island”, which I specifically selected for my Indian friends. I am sure it was on the high end of the Scoville Scale, since the hostess shuddered when I ordered it. I am pretty sure that the cook needed protective gear to even prepare this coating. My timing was great, as the order came out shortly after my party had arrived. The hostess pointed out the different plates of wings as to their piquancy (she did not know that word, I do). The party began with most of us reaching for the medium and hot versions and avoiding the plate with the haze hovering over it, like a runway in the summer. I pushed the plate of biohazard wings toward Ramesh and Leela. They tried them and it was immediately obvious from the blisters raised on their lips and the inability to breath that the “Three Mile Island” recipe was not popular in India. Mike, one of the other participants, a Caucasian from New Hampshire elected to try them. We all watched in awe as he devoured the entire plate with no visual side effects. Whether he actually enjoyed them or was posturing for the hostess, I was impressed. I have a hunch that the next morning, Mike would regret stepping up to that plate. Ramesh later said that he had eaten spicy food his entire life and had never tasted anything to rival “Three Mile Island”. Hooters should come up with an ad campaign, “Try our hot wings, they would make Gandhi swear.”