I love spicy foods. The problem is, they don't always love me back. When my wife and I go out to eat, we're often sharing two dishes, family-style. And her spice tolerance is much higher than mine. As a result, she's constantly dialing down the heat level, and I'm constantly reaching for the Tums.
Jalapeno and Tabasco are my intestinal kryptonite. But that works out because most Mexican dishes can be kept to oneself. Thus, my wife is free to douse her plate in hot sauce, and I can live dangerously with a plate of fajitas. The key appears to be the source of the spice. Case in point, the Sen Mee Phad Sea Eaw at Hot Basil, which I scarfed down over the weekend.
"The medium will leave you feeling the heat in your mouth," the server told me.
She was right. My lips stung briefly from the spicy, thin rice noodles, and I ate plenty of the white rice that came with the panang curry in an attempt to ease the smoldering feeling on my tongue. Here I ate a bit outside my spicy comfort zone in an attempt to get closer to the level of spice that my wife enjoys. Plus, the combination of bok choy, bamboo shoots and roasted garlic was worth the sting.
I married someone willing to compromise on spice, but I know there are plenty of people out there who cart their own hot sauce to the table. Could you date someone who couldn't handle spicy food or, conversely, would eat only foods that set your mouth on fire?