Hunt for the Hottest Food


“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!”

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