Red Hot Warning?
Ant gives us a snippet into chili loving, the backwards hangover, and crazy mexicans...
"My eyes, oh my aching eyes" was the result of my recent bravery toward the chili. Apart from my curious and consequently blistering mouth times before, I had taken it as given that chilies were for mad people with cast iron mouths and I was not one of them. At least I didn’t think so.
I had rubbed the juice into my eyes shortly after tearing open the flesh of a newly ripened Habanero. The specimen first struck my attention days before at the garden center, hell knows why. It must have been its harmlessly fruity appearance. I recklessly ignored the 10 / 10 heat warning and set myself up for an eternal bond between man and fruit.
Like chocolates for the chocolate lover, chilies are addictive. However, it is not the sado masochistic scorching of flesh that makes it so, but that which comes after. In fact, eating a chili is like a hangover backwards, and can be illustrated in three stages.
• Stage one: Question sanity.
• Stage two: Courage.
• Stage three (for the survivors): Pleasure.
The science behind this myth is that chilies cause the brain to release endorphins into your bloodstream. This brings about a sense of well being. Taken regularly, they are thought to perpetuate this feeling.
Apart from merely being a natural narcotic, chilies are proven to be an excellent multivitamin. They are loaded with vitamin A (for skin, bones and eyesight), vitamin C (preservation of Collagen and absorbing of Irons) and calcium. Chilies are not only useful in preventing ailments, but also in treating them. However there is an explicit irony s in the sorts of ailments that this fiery fruit is doctor to. This is evident in the saying, "When a fresh chili is eaten raw / stomachache and heartburn will be no more".
A study of Spanish Americans’ eating patterns showed very few cases of heart diseases. In these countries where chilies are grown and eaten in abundance. For them the chili regulates the level of cholesterol in the blood stream, thus acting as a good, natural, fat attacker.
The stereotype of the Mexican dude has always baffled me. He stands there in the blazing sun, dressed in poncho, eating fiery tacos, waving around his hat with one hand and slurping down a bottle of tequila with the other. We might think our Mexican friend has had a little too much sun - or tequila perhaps. But in fact, it is the fiery chili tacos that make the sun bearable. Chilies act as a portable air conditioner. When ingested they speed up the heart rate and cause the body to sweat, thus cooling it down. This process is the same for the jogger. Although with a chili meal, your neighbors will not have to see you in those disgraceful skimpy yellow shorts.
Chili eating, in recent years, has become an endurance sport of its own, hailing competitions worldwide. But, unlike kinky bondage sex or bunji jumping, a chili fetish will not leave your life insurance broker mortgaging his house, not to mention the dirty sheets.