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Do your kids like spicy foods?

Chicken heart tacos at Holy Taco with spicy arbol chile (Photo by Becky Stein)

Chicken heart tacos at Holy Taco with spicy arbol chile (Photo by Becky Stein)

“This is spicy!” my youngest daughter cried, as she took a bite of the evening meal — a kind of burrito that I fashioned from naan bread and boneless chunks of spiced chicken I bought from a nearby Indian restaurant, and then rolled up with plain yogurt and salad veggies. “I can’t eat it.”

I extracted a chunk of the chicken from my own burrito and chewed it, feeling maybe a pinprick or two of heat on my tongue. “I don’t think it’s that spicy, ” I suggested.

“It’s not spicy at all, ” said her sister, mouth full.

“It’s a little spicy, ” countered my wife, doing that thing that moms do. That “you’re both right” thing.

My daughter did manage to eat most of her sandwich that evening, with extra yogurt and iced tea to wash it down. But this kid perplexes me. How did she emerge from our household so spice intolerant?

For years she’s grown up in a household where Mexican, Indian and Korean dishes abound. The mild cuisines of, say, Northern Europe, the Arctic and the Midwest never make appearances. If there is a hot dog, then the spicy mustard comes out. If there is spaghetti in meat sauce, then the bottle of sriracha goes on the table as the expected condiment along with Parmesan cheese.

The oldest of my three daughters, now in college, grew up to be a proper little chilehead. She likes fresh jalapeno on her sandwiches and craves hot curries in any form.

The middle daughter, now in high school, took a little longer to develop her taste for capsaicin. I remember her asking me a few years ago why I liked spicy food: “I think it just hurts, ” she said. “Why does it feel good to you?”

But now she likes the tingle of spice, particularly when it complements an Asian-style sweet and salty sauce. Just not too much: She tastes her food, reaches for the bottle of sriracha and applies four to five tiny dots, placed just so, around the plate.

The youngest, strangely enough, used to like spicier foods. We’d get hot chile cashews and samosas from the little Indian snack shop near our house, and the two of us would take these treasures home and eat them in the kitchen. But in the past couple of years her palate has been more in thrall to fat. She is, more than anyone in the family, a fan of cheeseburgers, buttery potatoes and chocolate ice cream. She has just discovered creme brulee and thinks there is nothing better on the planet. Perhaps she is going through a “rich food” phase and any intimation of spice feels like a harsh slap.

I’ve often wondered about kids who grow up in cultures that eat a lot of spicy foods. So do a lot of people, apparently, as it’s a common topic on parenting message boards. Specifically, people want to know if it’s OK to feed their kids spicy dishes.

The general consensus is “no problem.” A respondent who identifies himself as Indian says his mother gradually introduced him to spicier and spicier foods. A Korean man said his mother used to wash the red chile marinade off kimchee before feeding it to him as a toddler. Most said that by the time kids are 6 or 7 they eat pretty much the same food as their parents.

And of course everyone noted that personal preference can transcend culture. There are plenty of Thais and Mexicans who don’t like the burn of hot chiles.

But I’m very curious to hear from readers on this issue. Did you grow up in a culture that celebrated spicy foods? If so, when did your palate adjust? Do you have little kids who like hot foods as well as you do or — is it possible? — more than you do?

Now, I’m off to meet my family at our favorite Mexican restaurant, where I’m getting the hottest thing on the menu, and my youngest will have her favorite: cheese dip with no jalapenos.

53 comments Add your comment

Lisa

June 27th, 2011
12:41 pm

I don’t have kids so can only comment on my own progression down the heat scale. In the late 60’s and 70’s I was probably typical of a lot of my teenage peers in Georgia in that I didn’t care for foods that were too spicy. I thought that Tabasco was exotic and didn’t understand why my mother liked it so much. And Tabasco was about as spicy as my household got with a peppery Brunswick stew perhaps the hottest dish we had. I didn’t even like the avocados Mom used the sauce on. All that soon changed. I grew up and moved to Los Angeles. Started going out to different restaurants and experiencing different styles of food. Ooohh the avacados, ooohhh, the Mexican, Thai, and Szechun foods, ooohhh come to mama, I discovered I loved them all. And ate increasingly hotter foods. Subscribed to hot sauce catalogs. Then discovered I could plant and grow my own in the community garden I belonged to. I took cuttings from other gardeners from different parts of the world resulting in various South American and Asian hot peppers in my kitchen. Frequently these plants went unnamed and were passed along with a smile and assurances of their heat. I was rarely disappointed. I hunted down seed catalogs, both popular and obscure, looking for new,oddball peppers to grow. Out of the resulting produce I made fresh and canned salsa, spiced up salads and sandwiches. I learned to make some very basic dishes along the lines of curry and spring rolls so I could utilize the new hot dips, sauces, and spices I was buying from the neighborhood ethnic groceries. I loved the sweat that would break out, the flush I would feel with all the spice. Sometimes I would over estimate my capacity and zoom around the kitchen or living room with my mouth on fire drinking water or milk or eating bread-whatever was the latest I had read as an antidote to excess spice. I would never have qualified as a bonafide “chilihead” but I liked a bit of spice in things.

And then something happened.

A few years ago either the side effects of various temporary medications or menopause (drs have speculated it could be either) have caused me to no longer be able to tolerate spiciness or heat of any variety. AND I MISS IT! I am reduced to the “mild” varieties of commercial salsa, (and what is the point of that?), at a Chinese or Thai restaurant I can no longer choose from the foods marked with the asterisks indicating spicy, I can’t reach for the fresh ginger or the pepper flakes, or the small lethal peppers from my local Asian farmers market. Sometimes ketchup is too spicy. Heavy sigh. I miss the heat.

Reds

June 27th, 2011
12:42 pm

I like things hotter than the rest of my family. I did not grow up in a hot spicy culture (with the exception of some red pepper flakes), and I think my palate started adjusting about 6 years ago when I started cooking more for myself and could experiment with heat levels. But I don’t like a ton of spice. I’m more like your middle daughter, but I like less spice than that. Sriracha goes into recipes, but I don’t put it on everything, and the salsa in mexican restuarants is varies between not quite spicy enough, and just there.

Reds

June 27th, 2011
1:18 pm

Well my first comment seems to have gotten lost.

I am not from a “spicy” culture. Scots-Irish-Sicilian. About the only heat in our house was red pepper flakes, mild salsa, and mild curry. I like things a little spicier than the rest of my family, and I think I started developing that when I was able to go out and cook and experiment on my own. I have a bottle of sriracha for recipes and for kicking things up, but it doesnt come out at every meal.

Lakshmi

June 27th, 2011
1:30 pm

It’s really about personal and family taste. I grew up in India, a country most people associate with spicy food. That’s such a misconception! Indian cuisine runs the gamut from sweet to spicy, with sour, savory and all other tastes in between. Growing up, I mostly ate home-cooked food that was moderately-spiced. Every once in a while, we’d eat out at restaurants where the food could be greasy/spicy. And of course, there are certain dishes that are inherently spicy although you could reduce the spice levels while cooking them… Cut to the present, everyone in the family prefers to eat mildly-spiced food on a daily basis, with the occasional spicy treat.

Atlanta Native

June 27th, 2011
1:30 pm

My 10 year old does not like spicy, or much else. My home growing up was very Southern (not spicy at all). I developed a love for spicy foods over the years, but it first started when my dad brought home country sausage from TN when I was a boy. It burned, but I grew to like it (better than either of my parents).

UGABugKiller

June 27th, 2011
1:32 pm

I’ve pretty much loved spicy food for as long as I can remember.

When I ate pizza, on went the crushed red pepper flakes, even when I was as young as 5.

I’ve always preferred spicy BBQ sauces and rubs, and when I started eating nagiri and maki, there was no such thing as too much wasabi.

My brother, on the other hand, came to liking some heat in his food slowly. Now in his late 20’s, he enjoys a respectable amount of spice, even forgoing ordering “mild” wings for the last few years or so.

At the opposite end of the spectrum is my soon-to-be sister-in-law who cannot abide spice in ANY form. I’ve been out to Thai with her twice (the first time her and my brother came up to Athens, and recently at my birthday dinner), and she has to really make it plain to the waitress that she wants NO spice in her food.

My theory is that she is mildly allergic to capsaicin. She honestly has a bad reaction to even what I believe are fairly mild spices like crushed red pepper flakes or even the smallest hint of cayenne. Even too much black pepper or ground peppercorns in food turns her off.

With your daughter, I wouldn’t push spice too much. Maybe instead of Sriracha (my favorite!) have her season with something a little milder, like Franks Red Hot or Tabasco.

She may be like my brother and your middle child, and need to build up a tolerance for the heat in foods your family loves.

Beck

June 27th, 2011
1:48 pm

I have no idea what causes it, but I’m the same way. My parents love spicy and ethnic foods and they weren’t the type to fix me a separate meal if I didn’t like what was for dinner. I would just drink milk, or eat more bread or rice to try to douse the flames. They LOVE coffee; the very smell of coffee makes me nauseous. They’re both right-handed; I’m a left. They have hazel eyes; mine are brown. The funny thing is I look like a combination of both so I’m sure they took the right kid home from the hospital and no we didn’t have a milkman.

It’s all just some of the genetic stew we all get from our forebears.

Have your daughter try the queso fundido, sin chorizo at the Mexican restaurant, I’ll bet she’ll love it!!!!

Chef Obvious

June 27th, 2011
1:59 pm

Your children should be THANKFUL you are not shoving that bilge they serve at McDonald’s down their throats like so many brain-numb, cell-phone-using-while-driving-a-minivan & clueless parents do.

Jenn B

June 27th, 2011
1:59 pm

I grew up in So Georgia and about the only spice we had was a bottle of crystal hot sauce on the table. But my dad loved it and ate it on saltines. Now that I’m older and there are a so many different ethnic foods available I LOVE heat. So does my husband. My now three year old likes heat, but not too much. At first I dumbed down all my cooking but I’ve slowly been bringing the heat back. He’ll eat some things, but not others. No real way to tell what it will be. He’ll eat it and say “ooo, spicy” and either go back for more or not! He will destroy a bowl of queso with jalepenos! My goal is that in a year or two he’ll have the same tolerance we do.

Pedro

June 27th, 2011
2:03 pm

My mother was a Brit, so I had a very mild (bland) cuisine growing up. It wasn’t until I left home that my taste for hot and spicy foods developed. My wife was also raised on a very bland, mid-western diet but she has a taste for hot and spicy now as well. Our kids were all exposed early and two of the three really like to kick it up. However, our youngest who is grown now prefers mild to spicy. Nature or nurture?

Robert

June 27th, 2011
2:04 pm

Just curious, but which is your family’s favorite mexican restaurant? If you’re like us “favorite” doesn’t necessarily mean “best” but it’s one where the food is consistently good and we’re always comfortable. Oh, and the margaritas must be above average. Usually it’s CANS in Crabapple for us since it’s convenient. Used to be El Mexica in Roswell for years and years till Paco had to close the doors.

Captain Chilehead

June 27th, 2011
2:04 pm

I can’t figure it out either. I’ve got one daughter that will eat nearly anything, and another that thinks chicken nuggets and french fries are the best thing ever. She’ll occasionally tolerate a hot dog or pasta.

Hot Wachula

June 27th, 2011
2:30 pm

Chef Oblivious, did you miss the questions? This isn’t The Vent.

I grew up wathing my dad with hot sauce and being intrigued. I started using some hot sauce here and there and became a real chili head in college. Both my kids like the hot stuff. One of my best memories is a hot sauce tasting we conducted till all three of us where sweating.

sp

June 27th, 2011
2:37 pm

“naan bread and boneless chunks of spiced chicken”

Are you sure it was the spice that turned her off? If she’s enthralled with the rich and fatty foods – she just may just not like/want it…

From what I understand – there are lots of health advantages to spicy foods – so should be okay for the kiddos…

PJ

June 27th, 2011
2:40 pm

My 4-year-old loves spicy foods, my 6-year-old not so much. We are both lovers of hot & spicy things, so our kids are exposed to the heat quite often. We are not at the point where we can share a “Thai hot” meal just yet, but my little one did take some chili sauce & mix it with his curry last weekend. I know they’ll both want to taste the 3 varieties of hot peppers growing in our garden, though I plan to keep a glass of milk handy.

Pablo

June 27th, 2011
2:44 pm

Growing up in Puerto Rico my father, uncles, aunts (pretty much all my relatives) had to have ‘pique’ (the traditional hot sauce made with hot peppers, onions, garlic, cilantro, vinegar and other ingredients) with their meals, so I had to try. Me and my siblings became spicy food lovers from an early age. However, my mom could not even stand the smell of spicy anything. My children know my love of spicy food, and sometimes will try some Tabasco sauce on their meals, but the jury is still out for them. In a case of history repeating itself, my wife (also puertorrican) cannot stand the spicy…

jrhd

June 27th, 2011
2:45 pm

My two daughters (6 & 4) and I had a similar discussion this weekend. I LOVE hot food, the hotter the better. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t like stupid hot stuff, it must have flavor. My kids are intrigued by my love of all things hot. My 4yr old will even dare to try some of the hotter things on my plate at times. She has even tempted my 2yr old son w/ some of the things I have allowed her to push his way. He will shake his head and say, “NO, too hot Papa!” and then ask me for more of whatever he is sampling. I am guessing I will end up w/ two chiliheads and one who prefers her cheesedip w/ no jalapenos, just like her mommy.

Lori

June 27th, 2011
3:01 pm

Different people have different levels of tolerance to spicy foods. I don’t force my son, who is 7, to eat anything that he finds too spicy, or anything he doesn’t really like for that matter, because I don’t want him to be afraid to try new things later. He’s never liked spicy things, and if I have him eat spicier foods, he just drinks a ton and makes himself full of drink instead of dinner. I’d rather make him an alternative meal that he will actually eat then him not eat at all.

That's All Folks

June 27th, 2011
3:05 pm

In this house – Dad is Cajun, Mom is German-English. When Cajun is on the nightly menu, kids are fed full-strength cajun food, no holding back. Dad’s parents didn’t do it when he was being raised, we’re not starting now. If you don’t ask them if it’s too hot, they won’t know any different – it will just be another delicious flavor.

Tyrone Biggums

June 27th, 2011
3:18 pm

I know a girl who thinks black pepper is too spicy!

apennysaved

June 27th, 2011
3:32 pm

John, how old is your youngest daughter? If she is approaching puberty her craving for fat/rich foods is understandable. People’s ability to tolerate and enjoy spicy food changes over time and is also very subjective. What one person considers moderately spicy may be bland to someone else. You can develop a tolerance to spicy food if you build up over time, but you may never enjoy it if you just don’t like the taste, flavor and sensation that it creates. You mentioned hot peppers in your commentary, but there is also a group of aromatic vegetables that can create a minor fire alarm in your mouth: raw garlic, raw ginger, raw onions and horse radish. All of these, in particular, raw garlic and horse radish or wasabe can be even more spicy than peppers. We often have peeled, raw garlic cloves at the dinner table to eat with our curries, meats and other savory dishes, substituting for chutneys. My family, although Indian, has grown up eating only moderately spicy foods because my father doesn’t like too much pepper. However, the raw garlic is on the table and more than makes up for any timidity of the food! My children will often protest that something is too spicy but then they proceed to eat it anyway. For me, the key is food that is well spiced, not spicy. You can’t always improve the flavor of something by throwing some hot sauce on it. A balance of different spices that each contribute their own taste and aroma almost always win out over food that’s so spicy that you can’t actually taste the flavor.

Chuck Snow

June 27th, 2011
3:38 pm

I grew up in rural Georgia so country sausage was considered pretty spiffy, In the mid 60s I spent 2 years in Korea, Where virtually everything was blazing hot. Some how I developed a taste for hot and spicey. Now that I’m older I find that milder foods are more my style most of the time altho I still enjoy Mexican & Korean a couple of times a week. Hot and Spicey is great, blazing hot is not.

Amanda

June 27th, 2011
3:52 pm

My parents aren’t that into spicy food. I think the one time I saw my dad make salsa with a pepper hotter than jalapeno, I was amazed. But my brother could live off bottles of hot sauce. Everything gets spiced up by him, and he thinks it’s great fun to order the hottest wings possible and never drink any water. (Meanwhile I have friends who complain the next day if they do something similar…) I can’t remember when he started this, but it’s definitely been at least 10 years. It all started with Tabasco, and he could go through a huge Sam’s Club bottle in 4 months.

My grandma likes to tell him he is going to burn a hole in his stomach. As far as I’m concerned, he hasn’t even gotten started with spicy food yet, as he just finally discovered Thai.

T

June 27th, 2011
4:06 pm

@T – You are setting yourself up for trouble, hun. I don’t say force spicy food down a child’s mouth…but preparing alternate meal…heck naw! Eat what’s on your plate or don’t eat. he’s not going to die for missing one meal. Don’t even start that mess!

Innocent Bystander

June 27th, 2011
4:35 pm

I guess I hail from the generation that actually enjoys the taste of food without the need to carry a fire extinguisher with us wherever we go. To each their own.

Baltisraul

June 27th, 2011
4:37 pm

Kids are supposed to eat what is put in front of them. If they don’t, pick it up and feed them tomorrow. I’m not saying burn their little mouths. It is the parents fault if kids say “I don’t like that”.

Lorenzo

June 27th, 2011
5:25 pm

My mom was from Louisiana, and she spiced our food liberally. Not exclusively spicy in the sense of chile heat but rather overall use of various spices to make full-flavored dishes. My dad was from Massachusetts but, like me, ate whatever my mom put in front of us. I had no idea there was such a thing as bland food until I started eating at friends’ houses. I’m not even sure I could have articulated the concept of spicy versus bland when I was a kid, but I knew something was different when I ate at friends’ houses, and I didn’t like it.

RK

June 27th, 2011
5:26 pm

Old people think broccoli is too spicy.

Lisa

June 27th, 2011
6:11 pm

Our SIL and the grandson LOVE spicy stuff. And the grand is only 2.5YO. When we travel, I look for HOT stuff and he loves that. Bermuda has some unbelievable hot sauce…. Me, goes in hot comes out the same way.

Darin

June 27th, 2011
8:59 pm

Our four year old notices when food is spicy and protests at first. I’ll offer him alternative food but he usually ends up eating the same thing we’re eating. We only let him have mildly spicy things. I basically want to introduce him to that end of the flavor spectrum so that he develops a wide appreciation for foods and cultures early on.

I grew up eating the blandest southern/suburban foods available. The most exciting thing we experienced at the dinner table was any kind of new salad dressing (”ooh, it’s zesty!” Mom would exclaim). I’ve only gotten into spicy foods in my 40s.

Worth mentioning: the taste buds dull as we age. The older we get, the more likely we are to be drawn to the piquant food experiences as a way of replacing the excitement we knew from the nuances of flavors we can no longer enjoy. In a way, greater enjoyment of spicy foods is something most of us can look forward to in later years.

JimmyZ

June 27th, 2011
9:27 pm

My stepdaughter (now 20) has my love of anything spicy. I got my growing up around my truck driving dad’s friends, two of whom were cajuns who didn’t think Gumbo was hot enough unless it melted the spoon. I still miss that stuff!

Her favorite at our nearby Chinese restaurant was always Lemon Chicken, but make it really spicy. One time they brought it and you could barely see the chicken for the hot pepper on top of it. I took one bite, and it about burned my tongue off. She ate every drop, and would’ve licked the plate if I’d let her. It was funny to watch the kitchen staff. I’m pretty sure they’d fixed it as a “we’ll show her spicy” dish-they were all peeking out the kitchen door when she started eating it. At the end the girl who was our server actually hugged her, saying she was so proud of her. I think she probably won some money on it.

She makes a mean spicy Curry herself now.

Carla Roqs

June 28th, 2011
8:08 am

not sure why everyone is saying southern food is bland, not spicy. i grew up with a wide array of food and i am southern. my son, now grown, always liked spicy when he was little. now that he cooks, he really goes spicy.i think your kids are fine, and fortunate that you cook a lot of different types of food. and the whole, forcing kids to eat certain things that people are saying? ummmmm…. no.

Deb

June 28th, 2011
9:33 am

I’m of Swedish, German, English and Irish ancestry; the birthplace of bland food. Luckily, I grew up in New York where I was able to try different cuisines. The best advice my mother gave me (after looking both ways before crossing the street) was if you were served something to at least try it. Anything with a modicum of spice I would devour. We had a garden growing up and as a 5yr old I would pilfer radishes on a regular basis. Today in my kitchen I always have sriracha, Tabasco, cayenne pepper, crushed red pepper, Thai chilis and my favorite, sambal oelek (killer on cottage cheese). I put any of the aforementioned on just about everything. When I was pregnant, I even put cayenne pepper on cheesecake! It’s awesome; best on the plain variety. Try it, you’ll see. For all of you brethren heat freaks, do as I do. Always carry Tabasco, cayenne pepper and crushed red pepper on your person and you’ll never be without that addictive burn. Oh, and as a nod to my Swedish heritage, I never did develop a taste for creamed herring. Maybe if I added some sricacha………….?

Deb

June 28th, 2011
9:43 am

Oh, and the best cure for a stuffy nose? Wasabi! It leaves Sudafed in its dust.

Big TIME Tech Fan:(

June 28th, 2011
11:17 am

Deb, you must be the palest person ever with those genetics.

Carla Roqs

June 28th, 2011
11:25 am

i find it really nice that such a diverse group of people read this blog and are positive, over all.

Deb

June 28th, 2011
12:59 pm

LOL, Big TIME Tech Fan. You’re right. I’m so pale I make Larry Bird look Turkish. ;o)

John Kessler

June 28th, 2011
3:07 pm

Carla – This post really brought out the best in people. Lots of interesting reading here.

BMC

June 28th, 2011
4:19 pm

I grew up in New Orleans – need I say more about spicy? I do not remember exactly when I began putting Tabasco on my eggs in the morning, but I do remember my Grandmother’s gumbo at the age of about three and loving it. My son and daughter were enjoying “mudbugs” (crawfish) by they time they were four years old. My daughter eventually graduated to being able to eat five habaneros, my son is probably a little behind her, but they both love my cocktail sauce with extra horseradish.

Alexis Willis

June 28th, 2011
4:19 pm

I am a kid who really does not care for spicy food but my parents like a little kick to their food. Sometimes it has to do with culture and sometimes it is just preference. Your taste buds are different from when you are younger and when you get older. You should always be open to try new things!

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Baltisraul

June 28th, 2011
4:30 pm

Alexis Willis……you have taken the perfect approach. I tip my cap to you Ms!

BMC

June 28th, 2011
4:45 pm

BMC

June 28th, 2011
4:51 pm

Lost my first comment – I grew up in New Orleans so no need to talk spicy about that. I cannot remember when I first put Tabasco on my eggs in the morning but I do remember gumbo at Grandma’s at age three or so. My son and daughter were eating crawfish by age four. My daughter eventually ramped up to five haberners straight being her maximum, my son is a bit behind that, but both love my cocktail sauce with extra horseradish. I attribute the differnece to the fact that we moved away from New Orleans when she was 4 but he was only 18 months, hence less spice was availalbe in general, although I did cook homestyle (New Orleans) for them. The variety was just not available in WV.

BMC

June 28th, 2011
4:52 pm

ok comment lost again, but did the same as the test?

Rocio

June 28th, 2011
5:43 pm

When people here in the USA learned that I am from Mexico, they used to ask me if I fed jalapeños to my children. Of course not! I would answer outraged. Maybe there are parents in Mexico who give spicy food to the kids, but not my mom. She used to set appart food for us before she added hot sauce to it. Also many dishes are not spicy. The hot sauce or chili peppers are set aside, so everyone can add according to the particular taste. Fast food is usually ordered with or without salsa. My older son does not care and actually avoids spicy food. My little one is not a fan of it, but he will try and eat mildly hot food. That did not bother him even when he was little. As I grew up, I developed a taste for spicy food little by little. It was so traumatic not to find just a little hot sauce to add to the food when I moved from Mexico to Miami. Gladly, canned, fresh and dried peppers are found in many supermarkets in Georgia. Also, I have tried food that is extremely hot but lacks taste. That is not the way I like my spicy food.

Baltisraul

June 29th, 2011
7:11 am

BMC…..I believe New Orleans food is spicier now than it was 40 years ago when the term cajun food was invented. Back in the day, La food had much more of a creole leaning and not as spicy. If you say you have a 60-70 yr old cajun recipe, you really mean creole. Cajun food had not been invented yet by Chef Paul Prudomme. That happened about ‘71 in his New Orleans resturant. And as they say; “the rest is history”

Carla Roqs

June 29th, 2011
7:53 am

sorry, i really do not know much about it– but logically: if cajuns are white/french mixed and creoles are negro/french mixed, doesnt it stand to reason that cajun food has always been around as whites and french mixed first? im sorry, i refuse to believe “cajun food” was invented in 1971, that is simply not reasonable. plus, i have a friend in haiti and i did not realize they consider themselves creole as opposed to french. i would suppose that there are those that consider themselves to be cajuns on various islands/countries as well. no, nope, nada: cajun food has been around much longer than 40 years, sorry.

I'm Hungry

June 29th, 2011
12:40 pm

When I was a kid salt and black pepper were about the only seasonings in the house. I thought black pepper was so hot. There was a small bottle of tabasco that languished in the fridge for years. I remember being in a Mrs. Winner’s fried chicken restaurant in Smyrna in the early 80’s and see folks putting La. style hot sauce on their chicken. I think it was Red Rooster I’m not sure. I picked up a bottle and doused my chicken with it. There was no turning back. I consider myself a chili head now.

My daughter who is 19 now grew up with spicy food around and easily developed a taste for it. Covering her pizza with crushed red peppers much to the surprise of her grandparents and adding copious amounts of Cajun seasoning to her grits. We all like it hot.

I remember my nephew crying after eating plain pepperoni pizza because he thought the pepperoni was too spicy…

Carla Roqs

June 29th, 2011
1:55 pm

i am hungry, too. grits? red? oh my gosh i need some shrimp and grits from the flying biscuit. would not mind some of those red sauce wontons (delicious) from n.y. right about now, either. even stuffed pizza with some crushed red peppers– there is an uno’s up here, so that is prob the only food mentioned on here that i can get close to soon.

Rahul

June 29th, 2011
3:41 pm

I’m Indian, and when I was a kid a could not handle anything spicy. My parents had to make separate dishes for me until around high school. Since then I’ve been hooked and cannot imagine a world without spicy foods available at all times. When I went off to college and started really missing my mom’s spicy cooking I started making a spicy drink for myself. I stuck with it and started bottling it, now it’s sold across the country in Whole Foods and other organic and natural food stores. Check it out if you want, I’m sure you’re kids who like spicy foods will love it. It’s called Prometheus Springs – http://www.prometheussprings.com