Wednesday, May 27, 2009


For a while recently I wanted shishito with almost every meal. Shishito is a Japanese pepper which is often described as sweet and mild. I experience them more like a bitter and sweet combination with an occasional hot one, and even more occasionally, a VERY hot one.

The other day I found some in the bargain bin at the supermarket, probably a couple of days old, and very cheap, so I got them. I added them to my spaghetti sauce, which I often do, and because they were a bit old I thought I should use them all instead of the usual three or four.

When I bit into the first shishito I rapidly discovered that I had come across a VERY hot one. I can usually tolerate quite hot food, but not fiery, and this one was fiery. I had the usual reaction I get to fiery food. I gasped, my eyes streamed, and I started to hiccup violently. It took a few minutes to get over the experience.

Then I bit into the second shishito, and it was, if anything, even hotter. The hiccuping was even more violent and longer-lasting, and for a while I couldn't see to find a tissue to wipe my eyes.

I ate the spaghetti after that, avoiding the shishito until the end. The spaghetti was already cooling because I couldn't eat while hiccuping, and I wanted to finish it before it was disgustingly cold. Then I looked at the last of the shishito on the plate. I picked one up, hiccuped reminiscently, and decided I was over shishito. This means I cannot report on the hotness or otherwise of the rest of that packet. I threw them out. I was afraid the next one would send me into convulsions.

(The hiccuping thing is uncomfortable, but also embarrassing if I'm eating out and bite into something hot. It can get out of control, and makes me appear to be drunk and disorderly.)

The Man is a great fan of hot food, and there is a brand of Thai curry mixes that he particularly likes. I have tried two of them. They were very nice, but one of them was very hot and made me hiccup dramatically, so I couldn't eat much of it.

When I came home today The Man told me that he had gone to the website of the company that makes this curry and entered a contest – and won! He has never won anything like that before, and was very pleased with himself. In the next few days 72 packets of Thai cup ramen will be delivered to our house – thirty-six each of Tom Yum ramen and green curry ramen. That is a lot of ramen. (I didn't even know there was such a thing as Thai ramen.)

But this means we now have our emergency food supplies. If swine flu turns nasty and we are afraid to go out, or supermarkets run out of food, we can survive for several weeks on Thai cup ramen.



Keera Ann Fox said...

I didn't know that you (as in anybody) could get hiccups from eating spicy food. I also didn't know that you (as in badaunt) got hiccups from spicy food. But now I know.

kenju said...

I have never attributed hiccuping with hot foods, but I'll be on the lookout for what makes me do it.

Badaunt said...

It's only VERY hot food that does it. Usually, accidentally biting on and swallowing a chilli will do the trick. You could try it and report back...