Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Αχ!! Καίγομαι


In the Home Country, we use chillies the way the Greeks use lemon. It goes on everything. When someone's not feeling well, we tell them to put extra chilli in their food. The fruit stall at the market would prepare jugs of orange juice for us finished with a flourish of salt and pepper. Even fruit salad was served with chilli powder, and nothing tastes yummier than oranges and guavas dipped in salt and chilli powder. Even yoghurt, which is meant to accompany meals as a coolant for anything too spicy, usually glowed pink from chilli powder.


When I am having a bad time, I make the hottest food I can consume and eat it in a haze of sweat and pain, which always leads to a sense of euphoria when it's all over. When I'm ill with a cold, I do exactly the same until the fire of the chilli bombs its way through my blocked synuses. That's not to say I'm a champion chilli eater. I've met my match enough times, especially the scotch bonnet chilli which actually left me in crippling pain. I also couldn't face off with a chinese friend at university who used to make lunches consisting of boiled rice and fried green chillis in soy sauce.
There is a lot of goodness packed in chillis and since moving to a country where they are almost not consumed at all, I've come to love them in a whole new way. I adore them, I adore the two varieties I grow in my garden and how faithfully they deliver when I want to add a little kick to something. I adore the smell of them and how my mouth waters in anticipation when they're lying on the chopping board.

Chillis have been proven to create a sense of eurphoria, release endorphins, reduce pain, prevent stomach ulcers and are packed with Vitamin C.

My own personal belief is that a curry is like love and is supposed to hurt a little. But let's be honest, the physical effects of eating a chilli are quite suggestive. You skin flushes, your breath becomes shallow, pupils dilate, lips grow red, you sweat, you face tenses as your tongue fluctuates between the pain of the burn and the pleasure of it. And afterwards, a sense of bliss and heightened awareness of colours, scents and sounds.

Mmmmm chillies... the next best thing to an orgasm. So let me just say that serving nachos in the cinemas of Greece without the jalapeno peppers is like sex without the orgasm. It's an insult, and there's no point even going there if you're not going to do it right!!!

By the way, this post intends to serve as my Valentine's Day post. This Saturday, go downtown to the main vegetable market of Athens and buy a bag of chillies. Cook something with them for your lover. Don't be scared of the chillies. I use them intact but you can reduce some of the heat by taking out the seeds and white veins.

Just be sure to wash your hands thoroughly so that you don't end up feeling the burn where you don't want to later that night.

Image: http://farm1.static.flickr.com/175/390173312_51733d3663.jpg?v=0

10 comments:

Sesi said...

Yeah ok and what do I make with them?
Any ideas?
Preferably without cumin, which I dislike ever since I made a failure of chilli con carne:S

itelli said...

Chillis have been proven to create a sense of euphoria, release endorphins, reduce pain...

U mean... like this?

Psofofeggaro said...

OUCH........
NO, NO, NO....
I'm from those people who can't even think of chilli pepers. :p

congratulations if you can eat them it's an acomplishment for me.

bollybutton said...

Urgh! You bunch of haters! For the record Tina Turner didn't sing Salty Baby Salty or Sour Baby Sour, she sang Burn Baby Burn. Just sayin.

Aggelos said...

Oh, I have to say I wasn't aware chilis were used that widely in your home country! Where I grew up we also like to eat fruit with chili powder... although only some fruit such as the guava and green mangoes, while the chili is mixed with sugar and salt. I've also eaten normal mangoes (golden, sweet and soft) sliced up in soya sauce heavily sprinkled with little birdseye chilis. As someone who is embarrassingly bad at handling asian spicy food (not mexican spicy though, for some weird reason) I had a difficult time deciding whether the urge to stop before I combusted or the desire to continue eating was stronger.

I don't know why they're not serving jalapenos in your nachos... It seems like no matter how clearly I state for none to be put inside my cheesey pizza/melted cheese dish they still slip them in!

Blackbird said...

*Oops, the comment from Aggelos was me! I forgot the computer was signed into my boyfriend's account. x

Psofofeggaro said...

Heheh didn't say it's bad or something like that, some things you like em or not, some things you can digest or not. Chillis are to those not easily digested by my poor sick stomach. My in-laws love them and grow some in their garden and always trying to manage to pursade my husband on eating them.
For the record, I personally can't handle onions too, so it's excluded from all food we are served and onion for greek cousine is like curry for yours.
Happy Valentines day for tomorrow, hope you spend the day with the best possible way ;-)

bollybutton said...

Well I messed up. I wished a girlfriend happy valentine's day before even wishing my man. Then I proceeded to poison both of us with chicken that had something wrong with it, sending us both to bed at about 9.30 to nurse our aching bellies and have weird dreams all night.

But I did bake a cake on Wednesday so I'm counting that, plus I'm overworked to within an inch of my life these days. I discovered I've lost 3 kilos last night. My parents are gonna be PISSED when they see me on Saturday :*(

teacher dude said...

Here in the north they do use chilli peppers in some of their dishes and you can order fried chillies as a side dish in many places.

Try xtypiti which is my fav.

Gently fry a chopped green chilli pepper, add a load of feta, wait till it melts and then add a dash of vinegar and some yoghurt. Cool and serve.

Psofofeggaro said...

Sorry to hear that. I've hadd it too a couple of times it happens if you get meat from super markets usually. Hope it lasted a couple of hours and you're both good today.
As for the weight loss...
That means you have to slooooow down a little or propably eat some more (I belive it's the first).
Anxiety is eating us all :(
Why that doesnt happent to me :( All I do when I'm home is sleep, sleep, sleep :( Why cant I just lose weight and still be functional? :(