Monday, July 15, 2013

Feel the Heat!


Camp food can be bland and monotonous at best and as a way to combat that plague, we have a few solutions. The first, and most benign, is salt. Dump salt in your food and it should be somewhat palatable, though too much and you’ve just ruined some perfectly good instant mashers. The second option, slightly more dangerous though usually still edible, is to throw any combination of spices you can find in your food- be it taco seasoning, cinnamon, Italian dressing, you name it. It’s not glamorous, but it works. The third and by far the most dangerous option, yet also the most gratifying, is to drown your food in a pool of Sriracha and hope you can power through the pain, thus completely forgetting about the mediocrity of your food.
            Lately we have taken to buying hot chile peppers to fry up and add to our meals to add a little extra taste and zest. Jalapenos, serranos; Nick was a chef in his former life so he usually instructs us to take out the seeds and then cook the pepper so that we don’t sear our mouths off when engaging in mealtime. This as been working out reasonably well, so far.
            This past week, disaster struck us down. Nick, who went food shopping for hitch came down with the flu over the weekend, so after dropping off our food on Monday morning, he went home to sleep off the fever and battle the sickness. Our first meal was fried rice, and since we didn’t really know what vegetables Nick had intended for the meal, Nathan and I tossed in whatever we fancied and, spotting two small orange peppers in the bottom of the cooler, figured: “meh, can’t be too bad, lets toss those in too!”. And toss them in we did. Seeds and all, after all, Nick wasn’t there to save us from ourselves. We fried up our meal, dished out giant portions to our selves, Andy, and Danny, and dug in.
            It was a slow burn, and it wasn’t until a few minutes later that the sweat started to pour down our faces. Our eyes were tearing up, we were desperately chugging water even though everyone tells you it’s a bad idea. We tried everything, bread, cheese, water, meanwhile Danny poured Sriracha on his fried rice. I had to take a break in the middle of dinner and go take a walk just so that I could power through. 

The peppers, it turned out upon Nick’s return, were habaneros. For those of you who don’t know, this is a habanero:

 This is the face of a person who just consumed a habanero:


Fact: habaneros usually rate between 200,000 and 350,000 on the Scoville scale. In case you were wondering, a jalapeno scores a 2,500 to at most 10,000 on the Scoville scale and serranos rate in at about 10,00 - 20,000. In 2000, the habanero was ranked as the world’s hottest chile pepper, but has since given up that title, though I do not want to meet its predecessors. I will spare you the gory details, but that meal haunted us for days. I will be sticking to Sriracha from now on.

Nora Kaufmann

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