I grew up eating the food White people eat, which I now hate.
I used to have major sinus problems. One of my brother’s friends who is a crack pot health nut suggested that I eat chili peppers to clear up my sinuses. I wrote him off as a crack pot health food nut and didn’t do it.
Then I read an article in the Arizona Republic that Mexicans who eat lots of hot chili peppers rarely have sinus problems. So I started buying jars of gelatin capsules of cayenne pepper at the health food store and eating one each day.
That indeed helped my sinuses a lot. So much I tried snorting a cap of the pepper once. That worked rather well. In fact it worked so well I will never do it again.
Still I was afraid of any food that I couldn’t pronounce so I stayed away from any food that was not American. When I worked at Capex, which later became Computer Associates was I was taken to El Molino’s on 18th Street & Jefferson in South Phoenix. I figured I could always order a hamburger. But sadly El Molino’s doesn’t sell White people food.
I was forced to order some chili laced enchiladas and eat them. I had the runs for 3 days and was constantly in the bathroom. But I liked the stuff and came back on a weekly basis. In a while I could eat that Mexican food with out having to make constant runs to the bath room.
My mother in law is a Mexican. I asked her how to make salsa one day and she gave me a recipe. I made it and it was worthless. The stuff was not even hot, even though I had added so much chili powder that the salsa was a paste.
So I asked my mother in law “how do you make this stuff hot”. She gave me the magic answer “Use Chili Tepins”. Chili Tepins at the time I discovered them were the third hottest chili peppers in the world. Number one is the Chili Habanero or Chile Habanero, which is also called the Scotch Bonnet Pepper. I don’t remember then number two. But number two was some pepper from Mexico.
Chili Tepins are also an Arizona or Sonoran Desert thing. Any grocery store in Phoenix or Tucson will be stocked with tons of them. I suspect they are also available in the Mexican state of Sonora. I have never been able to find them in Los Angeles grocery stores.
I made some salsa with chili tepins and it was good and hot.
But sadly still my view of food was if you can’t pronounce it and it ain’t Mexican don’t eat it. When I got a job at Sperry Flight Systems, which became Unisys and is now Honeywell I was taken to lunch to a Chinese on 19th Avenue and Bell Road place to celebrate my hiring. I didn’t want to go because back then my mantra was “If you can’t pronounce it don’t eat it”. But I went just to be polite. That was when I found out they called me “MOST” which stood for “Master Of Space and Time” because of all the stuff on my resume.
Turns out I like Chinese food much better then I like Mexican food. That’s is where I started eating those long deadly looking Chinese peppers. I swallowed one by accident and discovered it wasn’t that hot and started eating them whole. I went back to that place many times. I don’t have a mantra any more but if I did it would be “If it is hot and spicy eat it”.
Then I used to have a home on Diana near Northern and 12th Street which is where Char’s Thai Food was located. Since I discovered hot food is good I started going there to eat. I loved Char’s. Sadly it burn down. But there is still a Char’s in Tempe on University and Rural.
I also discovered Indian food from India at that time. Next to the Tokyo Express on Camelback and 10th Street a small Indian joint opened. I went there a number of times till they went out of business.
They had some food called “Achars” on there menu which they said was a deadly poison in the terms of being hot, and to not eat it unless you could really handle hot, hot food. I tried them and really like “achars”, which is just an Indian word for pickles, although they don’t taste anything like American pickles.
When I went to Japan I discovered wasabe, which they say is just a green form of horseradish. At a sushi bar my sisters Japanese friend ordered some sushi for me which he had laced with wasabe. When I bit into it the wasabe set my mouth on fire and of course I liked it. My sisters friend keep asking me “do you like it” and I kept telling him that it was “good sh*t”. Of course he didn’t know that in English “good sh*t” is the same as “I like it” so my sister had to tell him I loved the stuff.
The end of the line was when I worked in Los Angeles and started eating at Indian restaurants that cater to Indian people, as opposed to the ones that serve fake, bland mild Indian food to White people. That is because one of my cube mates was an Indian guy named Dev who taught me the ropes.
Indian food, like Indians eat it is by far the hottest spiciest food I have ever eaten and I love it.
For lunch we go to a run down dump on Venice Blvd, near the Hari Krishna Tempe where we could stuff ourselves for $3. But in Los Angles the true place to get Indian food is in Little India on Pioneer Blvd in the city of Artesia. Little India is about a half mile south of the 91 freeway and it extends another half mile to the railroad tracks. You will know you’re there because the whole place smells like curry, the women wear saris, and every store on the block is an Indian store with the exception of the Jack in the Box.
Since then I have checked out the Indian community in New York and Chicago. In New York all the good Indian food is in a part of Queens called “Jackson Heights”. Its the first subway stop out of Manhattan going to Queens. In Chicago the Indian community is on Devon Street. I think I took the red line subway to get to Devon Street from downtown Chicago. Once on Devon I took a bus going east to get to Little India. When you get there you will smell the curry in the area and see the Indian woman dressed in saris.
Last I should note that I no longer own my home on Diana in Sunnyslope. The tyrants that run the city of Phoenix seized my home for messy yard crimes some people I rented the home to committed.
When the City of Phoenix first passed its messy yard crimes the ACLU said the laws were unconstitutional. But the laws are still on the books.
Originally the messy yard laws were only civil. Which means they can convict you in a civil court with out all the fuss and mus of a criminal trial. And seize your home to make you pay the messy yard criminal fines.
But to be real tyrants the City of Phoenix changed the messy yard laws so they are now BOTH civil and criminal. Now they can get you both ways. Of course that is a violation of the double jeopardy clause in the US Constitution, but government tyrants have not cared about the Federal or Arizona constitutions for many years. So they seize your home to make you pay the messy yard criminal fines and put you in jail to punish you for your messy yard crimes.
Mike’s Hot Spicy Food Recipes