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We’ve all been there, victims of our own senses and captive to the power of spicy—food that is. You inhale, overwhelmed by the exotic mix of aromatic peppers and chili. It could be salsa filled with fresh tomato, tomatillos, jalapenos, cilantro and just one pinch of a ghost pepper that sets your mouth on fire. Or maybe it’s a succulent chicken breast sautéed in green chili and topped off with cheese and sour cream. Whatever temptation you give into, your tongue is plunged into the fires of hell. You reach for your water, your favorite carbonated beverage, or even your margarita, only to discover it makes the feeling worse!
Don’t despair, I have a solution to your hot tongue syndrome that won’t just put out the fire, it will turn that first date at the local Mexican restaurant into a sexy prelude.
If you spend any time at all eating Mexican food (I’m talking Mexican, New Mexican, Tex-Mex, those Americanized derivatives we all adore, or even Baja style or spicy So-Cal cuisine) you have probably been presented with a basket of chips and salsa as soon as you’re seated. Honestly, this is usually when hot tongue syndrome happens. You dig into that salsa while listening to your date wax poetic about (insert topic here) and then discover it was a lot hotter than you expected. At this point you haven’t even received water or ordered your pina colada. That’s okay. I repeat—that’s okay!
Most of the hot in spicy foods is related to the oil inside the peppers. Eating more chips will put out the flames. The baked or fried tortilla chips also contain salt which helps soothe the tastebuds and calm that urge to panic. But really that solution—while effective—is just a little on the boring side. So if I might make a little suggestion?
In the Southwest its common to see honey on the table with the typical assortment of condiments. This is because Sopapillas are prevalent in the Southwest, which if you’ve never eaten one, haul your backside out to Sadie’s in Albuquerque, NM and get one. They are to die for! But I digress—honey is the main thing here. If there isn’t any, ask for some. You’ll be ever so glad you did. And so will your date.
The story goes a little like this. While exchanging flirty remarks with your date, you pick up chip and dig into that salsa on the table. Without even thinking about the risk, you plunge the spicy mixture into your mouth. Flavor explodes on your tongue, chills slide down your spine, and you realize that you’re experiencing the throes of hot tongue syndrome. Refusing to let your sexy date see you in the not so arousing mode of stuffing chips into your mouth to cool the flames, you very daintily pick up one chip and reach for the honey. Drizzle honey onto the chip. Glance up and catch your date’s eye. Holding his/her gaze, place chip onto your tongue and begin to chew. Not only does the salty flavor of the chip eradicate the hot tongue, the sweet honey works its sensual magic. Still making certain your date is glued to your every move, lick any excess honey from your fingers with relish. Using your best bedroom eyes won’t hurt any either. Remember, not only did that honeyed chip solve your potentially disastrous food faux pas, it just made your date think about drizzling that sweet nectar all over your (insert body part here). I call that a win win.
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