My mom was always proud of her ability to cook. She wrote out various non-standard recipes from cookbooks, watched cooking shows - and was always upset when she saw that I took hardly half a portion on a plate. The thing is that my mom was absolutely intolerant of spicy food - so my childhood was spent among unsalted meatballs and perfect pasta... only completely bland "perfect" pasta.
Maybe that's why I've been addicted to herbs, spices and sauces from all over the world for decades now, which give food thousands of incredible flavors and new textures. I thought for a long time that my childhood was something almost unique in terms of food - until I saw this thread on the AskReddit community. It turns out that there are many such people. So many. And this post is mainly about them. And about spices as well.
More info: Reddit
#1I’ve seen someone argue that bell peppers are spicy.
Not black pepper. *Bell pepper.* Which are a kind of sweet pepper with zero Scoville units. They aren’t even tart or acidic.
Edit: to everyone going “no they’re spicy,” get tested for an allergy. To everyone going “they are bitter,” bitter is a different flavor than spicy. To everyone going “but I don’t like them,” you can dislike things that aren’t spicy.
Edit 2: I’m eating a bell pepper for lunch and they’re still not spicy, you weirdos.
Image credits: TerribleAttitude
#2My brother in law complained dinner was too spicy and, upon questioning, it was because he'd seen me dredge the chicken in flour before frying it.
Flour was too spicy for him.
Edited to add: Since people are asking, no, he was not allergic to wheat. However, he was eventually diagnosed with IBS. He didn't want to change his eating habits, however, so he continued to eat whatever and just blame 'spicy food' for flare-ups.
Apart from that, he was the kindest, sweetest, most generous and caring man I ever could have hoped to have join our family. He passed last October and we still miss him every day. I think he would find his fifteen minutes of Reddit fame to be extremely funny. Just thinking of him reading these comments makes me smile, so thank you for that, too.
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#3I CAN ANSWER THIS.
I was married to this guy for awhile. His parents were VERY spice-adverse. I had never seen anything like it. I only actually visited their home once, because they lived in a state far away from us, and they usually visited us instead.
My ex-MIL was always going on about how many spices I had in my collection and how unnecessary it was. When I went to their house I found out she had a spice collection of: dehydrated onions, pepper, salt, black pepper, and garlic powder. That was literally it. I didn't even see cinnamon.
I went to pick up some fried fish once when we were there. Got the tartar sauce on the side.
His mother tried the tartar sauce and then said, I s**t you not, "Oh my, that has *some kick to it*".
IT ABSOLUTELY DID NOT. IT WAS F*****G TARTAR SAUCE.
Image credits: DoomDamsel
We don't know for sure who was the first person who thought of adding various pleasantly or sharply smelling seeds and herbs to food, but one thing is for sure - this guy was a damn genius. And for several millennia, humanity has been unable to part with spices. More precisely, it can, but it just does not want to. Because of spices, great geographical expeditions were carried out, aggressive war campaigns were undertaken, in particular, with the aim of redirecting the trade flows of precious goods from one country to another.
Thanks to spices, in many European countries, such a concept as the Chamber of Weights and Measures appeared. There were times when spices were valued significantly more than gold. And until almost the middle of the 19th century, the opportunity to simply pepper food was available only to a few hundreds or thousands of insanely rich people around the whole country.
#4Someone at work brought in some fresh-picked oranges from a tree in their yard.
Another employee cut one up and took a bite. "Ooh, sweet....sweet!", she said with surprise. Then her eyes got real big, and she started acting like she had just eaten a hot pepper, but shouting, "Sweet! Too sweet!" while taking deep breaths while chewing with her mouth open, fanning her open mouth with her hands. As she was finishing chewing her bite of orange, she rushed over to the water cooler, and chugged several small cups of water like she was trying to sooth her sweeted-out mouth.
One of the weirded f****n' things I've ever seen.
Image credits: NecroJoe
#5My dad tastes garlic in everything, even if it doesn’t have garlic in it.
An example: I offered some of my macaroni salad to him. He takes a bite. “I can’t eat this, it’s too garlicky.” No garlic.
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#6My friend said she thought cauliflower was too spicy. Dead serious.
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"In fact, spices originally had a purely utilitarian use - some of them have pronounced bactericidal properties, and help to significantly extend the shelf life of meat. Especially in hot climates," says Roman Sardarian, a chef from Odesa, Ukraine, to whom Bored Panda reached out for a comment. "And then someone just realized that these plants also make meat taste better. Much more delicious, to be honest."
"By the way, what's interesting about herbs and spices is that herbs are actually the leafy parts of plants, while spices are everything else. Bark, buds, seeds, roots of plants. So basically from the same one plant we can obtain, for example, two products completely different in taste and characteristics. As for people's intolerance to the taste of spices and herbs, then everyone, of course, has completely different taste features. True, there is also a question of habit. If you have been eating spicy food for years, then your taste buds will certainly adapt to it. Individual predisposition and adaptation are the two main factors in this matter," Roman states.
#7Honestly, myself once upon a time. I was a Nandos lemon and herb kind of person, and if you put even just the slightest hint of chilli in my food, I was dead. I grew up in a very "British" kind of food household, where meat and three vegetables was the norm. The concept of spice - not just of the hot variety, but *any* spice - was pretty unusual.
In 2016, I met my soon-to-be wife, who is from mainland China. Given her ethnicity, she obviously has a good spice tolerance, to say the least. And since we're both more into veggies than meat, you've gotta do *something* with those veggies to make them taste nice. So, we could with *a lot* of spice - often things chilli, peppercorns and cumin.
It took time, but after six years living together, let me tell you: I can eat spicy food like a mainland-China person myself now. In fact, if my food *doesn't* have spice these days, I find it pretty uninteresting. Sometimes I even find myself outdoing my fiance, and she'll be reaching for her drink while I'm reaching for more food.
So the point is, you *can* better your spice tolerance. It takes time; but don't think of it as some torturous process you need to undergo for no reason at all other than bragging rights. If you don't have at least a "reasonable" spice tolerance, then you'll be missing out on *a lot* of tasty food. So I think it's worthwhile to at least push your boundaries slowly (but consistently, because the tolerance can leave faster than it was gained), and enjoy the discovery of a whole new world of food along the way.
Image credits: MrSlipperyFist
#8Me. Pepper on fries or in the breading of chicken nuggets is legit painful for me. I frequently wonder if I’m actually allergic to pepper, since I’ve seen a few charts of “how to tell if your young child has a food allergy” and one clue is if the kid says something is “spicy” when it shouldn’t be.
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#9Mom can’t eat anything spicier than ketchup. I grew up on very very bland food
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The thing is that spicy food contains a substance called capsaicin - and when consumed, it activates a taste receptor called TRPV1. The number of these receptors, as well as their sensitivity, is completely individual for each person; however, capsaicin is addictive in receptors. So the more spicy food you eat, the more of it you can consume. Of course, over time.
And in 2017, researchers from the University of California conducted a study on the mechanism of TRPV1 channel activation by capsaicin, calling it 'Understand spiciness'. According to the scientists, further research into this mechanism will not only help cooks, but is also greatly needed to guide pharmaceutical efforts.
#10Black pepper was too spicy
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#11Had a kid immigrate from Poland to Colorado. We were making guacamole for a school class and he tasted it and immediately said it was too hot.
It was only avocados at that point, we hadn't added anything else.
He ended up LOVING spicy food, but we never stopped giving him s**t for that.... good dude, hope he's doing well for himself.
Image credits: DETRITUS_TROLL
#12I have a mast cell disorder (the cells that release histamines) and one of my triggers is peppercorns. I am a total wimp when it comes to black pepper especially. My lips swell up and such. I avoid it like the plague.
Conversely, cayenne pepper is totally fine and I use it in place of peppercorns when cooking.
Image credits: TzippyBird
Returning to the story of my mom - once, several years ago, I sincerely regretted that in her entire life she probably did not realize the beauty of food saturated with various divine tastes. I made her a special pasta bolognese, added some homemade Worcestershire sauce. I spent several days collecting ingredients and cooking like goddamn Severus Snape at his magic cauldron. I finally invited my mom to the table, gave her a plate, holding my breath, waiting for her reaction. She placed the first portion into her mouth, chewed, listened to her feelings - and then grimaced and said: "Good Lord, that's disgusting!..."
Just put up with it if one of your relatives, friends or acquaintances is intolerant to spicy food. Perhaps you can't do anything about it. Better just scroll this list to the very end and maybe add your own tale on the topic. After all, there's nothing better for a good post than to spice it up with some commenters' stories, isn't it?
#13My aunt thinks having a low spice tolerance counts as a personality trait. It's so integral that as a goof my spouse once started to describe a chicken soup they were all having at a diner as 'really peppery' and despite my aunt having already ate like half her bowl suddenly couldn't eat it anymore.
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#14One of my in laws sweats at the sheer smell of chilli, no ingestion involved.
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#15My mom thinks fries with a normal amount of salt and pepper is too spicy
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#16When I worked at Tim Hortons a guy complained that out ranch dressing was "too spicy" and it "burnt his tongue"
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#17Lemon and herb chicken at nandos was too spicy for them, they had to have plain.
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#18My wife. I once put the tiniest punch of cayenne in a chilli. I'm pretty sure it was 6 flakes at most. She ran screaming and flapping at her mouth to get water. Me and my brother couldn't taste any spice at all. She still complains that things are spicy when all that's in them is black pepper. Bless her. Her tolerance has improved a little since though. I can cook marginally spicy foods
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#19One of my kids, age five or six, commented that Greek yoghurt was "a little spicy."
For my own sanity I have to assume he meant tangy and just didn't have that word, but it's definitely funnier at face value. I've noticed my kids lose their spice tolerance at about the point they start developing food preferences in general. I've worked to build up my spice tolerance over the years, and don't stint on it with the kids either, so it's kind of funny to watch a kid go from chowing down on jalapeño anything to complaining that Bullseye BBQ sauce is too much heat for them.
Image credits: Grave_Girl
#20My 6 year old niece started crying when she ate a piece of our Christmas turkey. It had some sort of brown sugar glaze she called “spicy”
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#21My wife recently claimed hummus was spicy. I think she was experiencing the slight tingle caused by the lemon juice
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#22My mom freaked out when my dad put herb du Provence in a stew because it’s “too spicy”.
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#23My kid has called Sprite too spicy before
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#24Me as a child: toothpaste
My husband eats tons of spicy foods but doesn’t like McDonald’s breakfast if it has sausage because the sausage is spicy. But myself and my spice averse son choose the sausage based breakfasts at McDonald’s every time.
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#25I have a low spice tolerance. The spices I use are herbs like parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, cinnamon, etc.
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#26the 7 year old german girl I nanny had the audacity to say onions were spicy lol
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#27Sweet BBQ is too hot for people at chicken wing joints
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#28I cannot eat Taki's without a runny nose.
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