I was talking to the guys at work yesterday, as it would appear that some of them are missing the national food of Great Britain…namely Hot Curry (and yes, the capitalisation is necessary). Apparently, a place has been located that understands the term “English Hot please”.
Germans don’t do spicey food..they place a 3 chilli warning sign on what are essentially tomatoe flavoured crisps. They consider standard, run of the mill bell peppers as excessive. When you ask for chilli on your kebab…they look at you strangely when you ask if they have real chilli anywhere. Not a spicy hot food nation is all I am saying. Very occasionally, I will concede, you get a surprise…I went to a kebab shop some months ago and went through the usual routine:
Me: With chilli please
Kebabman: *lightly introduces concept of chilli to kebab*
Me: No I said chilli please… I am English, the hotter the better
Kebabman: I have put chilli on
Me: No, you have given the kebab a theory lesson on what chillis are
Kebabman: *sighs* Ok, more chilli
Me: Bites into kebab
Me: Head explodes
Me: Recovers and (hopefully) successfully hides the nuclear reaction going on in my mouth
Suffice to say, he is my favourite Kebabman.
So consequently, the curries here (whilst full of flavour), do not require a gallon of beer to cool off…which of course increases the enjoyment factor…as long as you get in touch with your inner lager lout. So, a “proper” curry house has been discovered and we will be going for a heat competition in a couple of weeks. For my part, I will be ensuring that there are plenty of toilet rolls in my freezer for when I get home. I will also place paramedics on standby and maybe eat some candles…Homer Simpson stylee. When I return from my dream walk with the talking fox…I may blog about hallucenigenic curries and their effect on inner city Frankfurt.
I digress…. the conversation about thermonuclear curries reminded me of a Chilli that my Mum cooked many years ago. We like reasonably hot stuff in our family, but my Dad had a friend coming over..and Mum said she would cook a Chilli for everyone. This prompted said “friend” to ask if it was going to be a proper Chilli or some weak thing. My Mum insisted that we like our food HOT, but that wasn’t enough and it turned into a macho “I can eat food so hot, they can power small countries with the ‘output'” conversation. My Mum assured him that it would be suitably hot and she felt sure he would enjoy it.
So the night arrived, and I stumble into the kitchen to get a drink and notice that Mum appears to be making 2 individual pots of Chilli. One of the normal family size variety…and one of the somewhat smaller and, dare I say it, sinister…evil..child of Nosferatu variety. Various spoons and possibly the bottom of the pan were most definitely melting. My Mum may have been cackling as she dropped small and unassuming ingredients into this smaller pan…each of them met with a cloud of purple smoke, a smell of the sulphurous pits of hell and a distinctive gurgling sound. I think what gave away her intentions though, was the leather apron…welders mask and lead gloves she donned whenever she went anywhere near this smaller pot.
So dinner is served and we all tuck into our Chilli..my Dads friend failed to notice that all of the plants with 10 feet of him had withered and died the second that Mum walked past with his Chilli in a specially reinforced bowl, and began to munch away. No sooner had he got the first spoonful to his mouth, he broke out in an instant sweat. His head was so red, I literally thought he might pass out…every few seconds he would glance across at us..quietly munching away, chatting normally and generally enjoying the experience. After the 2nd mouthful..I believe he lost the use of his tongue, and his speech became slightly slurred. He made some pitiful excuse shortly after, something about having a big dinner and he was really sorry, but couldn’t eat anymore. At least, that’s what I think he said…to this day I couldn’t understand him properly.
The moral to this story is of course…do not cast aspersions at my Mums cooking…she may try and kill you.
Wish me luck…
Oh…thought I would leave you with this Chilli cookoff story :
THE INEXPERIENCED JUDGE
Notes From An Inexperienced Chili Tester Named FRANK, who was visiting
Texas from the East Coast: “Recently, I was honored to be selected as a
judge at a chili cook-off. The original person called in sick at the last
moment and I happened to be standing there at the judge’s table asking
directions to the beer wagon, when the call came.
I was assured by the other two judges (Native Texans) that the chili
wouldn’t be all that spicy, and besides, they told me I could have free
beer during the tasting. So I accepted.”
Here are the scorecards from the event:
CHILI # 1 MIKE’S MANIAC MOBSTER MONSTER CHILI
JUDGE ONE: A little too heavy on tomato. Amusing kick.
JUDGE TWO: Nice, smooth tomato flavor. Very mild.
FRANK: Holy shit, what the hell is this stuff? You could remove dried
paint from your driveway. Took me two beers to put the flames out. I hope
that’s the worst one. These Texans are crazy.
CHILI # 2 ARTHUR’S AFTERBURNER CHILI
JUDGE ONE: Smokey, with a hint of pork. Slight Jalapeno tang.
JUDGE TWO: Exciting BBQ flavor, needs more peppers to be taken
FRANK: Keep this out of the reach of children I’m not sure what I am
supposed to taste besides pain. I had to wave off two people who wanted to
give me the Heimlich maneuver. They had to rush in more beer when they
saw the look on my face.
CHILI # 3 FRED’S FAMOUS BURN DOWN THE BARN CHILI
JUDGE ONE: Excellent firehouse chili! Great kick. Needs more beans.
JUDGE TWO: A beanless chili, a bit salty, good use of peppers.
FRANK: Call the EPA, I’ve located a uranium spill. My nose feels like I
have been snorting Drano. Everyone knows the routine by now get me more
beer before I ignite. Barmaid pounded me on the back; now my backbone is
in the front part of my chest. I’m getting shit-faced from all the beer.
CHILI # 4 BUBBA’S BLACK MAGIC
JUDGE ONE: Black bean chili with almost no spice. Disappointing.
JUDGE TWO: Hint of lime in the black beans. Good side dish for fish or
other mild foods, not much of a chili.
FRANK: I felt something scraping across my tongue, but was unable to
taste it, is it possible to burnout taste buds? Sally, the barmaid, was
standing behind me with fresh refills; that 300 lb. Bitch is starting to
look HOT, just like this nuclear waste I’m eating. Is chili an
CHILI # 5 LINDA’S LEGAL LIP REMOVER
JUDGE ONE: Meaty, strong chili. Cayenne peppers freshly ground, adding
considerable kick. Very Impressive.
JUDGE TWO: Chili using shredded beef, could use more tomato. Must admit
the cayenne peppers make a strong statement.
FRANK: My ears are ringing, sweat is pouring off my forehead and I can
no longer focus my eyes. I farted and four people behind me needed
paramedics. The contestant seemed offended when I told her that her chili
had given me brain damage, Sally saved my tongue from bleeding by pouring
beer directly on it from a pitcher. I wonder if I’m burning my lips off?
It really pisses me off that the other judges asked me to stop screaming.
Screw those rednecks!
CHILI # 6 VERA’S VERY VEGETARIAN VARIETY
JUDGE ONE: Thin yet bold vegetarian variety chili. Good balance of spice
JUDGE TWO: The best yet. Aggressive use of peppers, onions, and garlic.
FRANK: My intestines are now a straight pipe filled with gaseous,
sulfuric flames. I shit myself when I farted and I’m worried it will eat
through the chair. No one seems inclined to stand behind me except that
slut Sally. She must be kinkier than I thought. Can’t feel my lips
anymore. I need to wipe my ass with a snow cone!
CHILI # 7 SUSAN’S SCREAMING SENSATION CHILI
JUDGE ONE: A mediocre chili with too much reliance on canned peppers.
JUDGE TWO: Ho Hum, tastes as if the chef literally threw in a can of
chili peppers at the last moment. I should take note that I am worried
about Judge Number 3, He appears to be in a bit of distress as he is
FRANK: You could put a grenade in my mouth, pull the pin, and I wouldn’t
feel a damn thing. I’ve lost sight in one eye, and the world sounds like
it is made of rushing water. My shirt is covered with chili, which slid
unnoticed out of my mouth. My pants are full of lava-like shit to match my
damn shirt. At least during the autopsy they’ll know what killed me. I’ve
decided to stop breathing; it’s too painful. Screw it. I’m not getting
any oxygen anyway. If I need air, I’ll just suck it in through the 4-inch
hole in my stomach.
CHILI # 8 LESTER’S LAST OF THE RED-HOT LOVER’S CHILI
JUDGE ONE: A perfect ending, this is a nice blend chili, safe for all,
not too bold but spicy enough to declare it’s existence.
JUDGE TWO: This final entry is a good, balanced chili. Neither mild nor
hot. Sorry to see that most of it was lost when Judge Number 3 passed
out, fell over and pulled the chili pot down on top of himself. Not sure
if he’s going to make it. Poor Yank, wonder how he’d have reacted to a
really hot chili?