I’m that person… that puts spicy condiments in spicy entrees

My story today is about how I ate papaya salad with 15 Thai chili peppers and survived.

I can’t get enough spice. I L-O-V-E spice and peppers. Some of people of people I know can’t even take mustard o.O””” And here I am, adding Sriracha sauce in my chili. (BTW, I don’t think chili is very spicy either). When I was in pre-school I asked my mom to pack me some pepper condiments. Yup, I started young. I think my parents tried to make me eat more by threatening me with pepper. But, it backfired. muahahaaa!

The Annual Hmong Soccer Tournament brings over 40 some thousand people together. It’s a huge social event in Saint Paul, specifically for the Hmong community. And papaya salads are its star attraction (well, unless you’re into soccer :P) It is a side dish or snack made of pre-ripened papaya. Papaya itself is pretty tasteless. When it’s shredded into long thin slices and in bunches, it can pretty much trap flavors and liquids between all the air pockets and stays crunchy. Papaya salad is an acquired taste because of its super unami (or fishy)┬átaste that most American’s aren’t used to. In the salad goes fish sauce, lime, tomatoes, sugar, shrimp paste, garlic, and Thai chili peppers. (my mouth is watering as I write this, I hate you Daily Post! I don’t have these ingredients on hand right this minute *sadface*) Some salads have noodles, or fruits instead of sugar, some go without sugar, others add even more fishy sauces or even other veggies.

Anyway back to the story, way back then, one bowl of this yummy goodness was only 2 dollars. My cousin and I would wander around the park and purposefully seek out the best looking food tent. So my cousin is kind of a braggart, he said he could take so much spice. I don’t know why but we cousins always tried to out-eat the other in terms of number of peppers. I said I had eaten one with 10 peppers before, so he ordered one with 15.

The experience is probably like nothing you have ever experienced. It’s painful, but addicting. {wait, that sounds like a lot of things} + with booger running, your lungs can’t get enough air, water doesn’t help, milk probably won’t either, and sweat beads all over your face. I mean you can’t stop eating this stuff. It’s such a well-balanced tasting dish that the fork just keeps coming back to your mouth even though your tongue is almost numb.

I was so young then, I think my body just took it in stride. Plus I eat pepper often anyway, so my tummy didn’t even get upset. Or I don’t remember it. I survived anyhow. Ghost peppers though, are a different story. Now that’s for another blog.Pepper