April 25th, 2013

So, that's why that hurt so much

A few weeks ago I made a pot of vegetarian chili. I've done this
successfully several times before. I've gotten in the habit of grabbing
some peppers from a basket at my Stop&Shop that was (according to the
person helping me) labeled "Assorted Hot Peppers." It comes out spicy,
but is generally quite good.

However when I made it a few weeks ago, I could tell things were
going badly by the time I was done chopping things. My hand had started
to burn. I quickly washed off the oil, but it kept burning and
increasing in intensity for a couple of hours. For reasons now unclear
to me, I chose to finish making the chili and eat some. It was really
tasty, but my eyes were watering and it was challenging to finish a
bowl. And really eating more than one bowl in a day was highly

I've discovered the problem. I asked about the peppers when I was in
the store today. That basket has now been relabeled "scotch bonnet
peppers." Based on my own experience, I think its contents changed too:
those "assorted" peppers of the past were quite good. For myself,
6-scotch-bonnet chili is a bit much and is unlikely to be intentionally repeated.