“What’s the hottest food?” asked Daniel. I wasn’t really in the frame of mind to give a good answer. We were eating roast beef sandwiches at Arby’s; about as non-spicy as you can get.
“I’m not sure,” I said, “maybe hot peppers of some kind.” Daniel looked at me oddly and shook his head.
“No, I mean really hot,” he said. “What’s the name of it?” I’m not a fan of really spicy food. I like a fish “blackened” and Meka’s venison chili, but that’s about it. My step dad Rick had been a big fan of hot peppers of all sorts. I remember there was this kind from Vietnam that made him turn red and sweat bullets.
“Remember?” said Daniel. “It was at the restaurant.” I knew he wasn’t thinking about Vietnamese food. I tried to think of where we had eaten something spicy with Daniel. That’s always a challenge; Daniel’s concept of “the past” is either last week or four years ago. He seems to remember them about the same.
“Was it habanero peppers?” I suggested. No.
“Tabasco sauce?” I offered. Daniel was starting to get frustrated.
“No, Tabasco sauce isn’t hot,” he said. “I mean hot!” Now, I was confused. Tabasco sauce is plenty hot. I remember Daniel tried a drop on his finger once… once. Then it occurred to me what he really meant.
I asked, “You’re talking about the flaming cheese at the Greek restaurant?” Daniel nodded enthusiastically. “It’s called saganaki,” I replied.
“That’s the hottest food all right,” Daniel laughed. “You can’t get hotter than being on fire!”