J-Fur and I visited a new Farmer’s Market this weekend. It was much more impressive than the one we’ve been frequenting (although it was also more expensive). As we were checking out, I glanced back at a table overloaded with ginger and I caught a glimpse of a sinister looking bucket. On the side, scrawled in blood, were the words “Ghost Peppers: Hottest in Tampa.”
The first time I heard of this horrifically hot pepper was on the Boston Episode of Man vs Food. Host Adam Richman was eating at the East Coast Grill in Cambridge, Massachusetts during their Halloween celebration dubbed Hell Night. It is here that the restaurant breaks out their spiciest foods. Before tackling the hottest pasta in the world, Adam bounced around the restaurant serving “antidotes” to people that couldn’t handle the heat (ice cold creamsicles) while chanting “Wimp, wimp, wimp.” The boyish exuberance that he displayed during these “Wimp” chants made this one of my favorite moments of the show (Adam himself wimped out later when he tried the pasta).
These were the images seared into my brain as I started walking towards the container to grab a few. Suddenly other memories flashed before my eyes. In one scene I was vomiting at work after trying a jalepeno (about 200-500 times less spicy than a ghost chili pepper). In another I laid crumbled on the bathroom floor after a bowl of thai chili tempeh (from my co-workers garden). I slowly backed away realizing that what rested inside that bucket was nothing that I wanted f*** with.
Here is the recipe for the very tame thai chili tempeh that was so devastatingly “hot” that I had to eat it cold:
Thai Chili Tempeh and Noodles
-15 thai chilis
-1 Tbs. Sesame Oil
-1/2 tsp. red curry paste
For the Noodles:
-1 package of tempeh, sliced into cubes
-2 cups shelled edmame
-1 package of rice noodles
-1 bunch of scallions, diced
-1 cup Napa cabbage, sliced into thin strips
-2 garlic cloves, pressed
-1 inch piece of ginger, small dice
-soy sauce (to taste)
1. Place the chills, sesame oil and red curry paste into a food processor of blender. Blend until smooth.
2. Saute the garlic and ginger in a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add the scallions, cabbage and tempeh. Pour in a little soy sauce to keep the veggies and tempeh from sticking. Cook for about five minutes.
3. Meanwhile, cook the rice noodles according to the package directions. Drain. Dump into a large metal bowl.
4. Pour the red sauce and tempeh mixture into the noodles. Stir. Add more soy sauce and lime juice (if desired). Place the large bowl into the refrigerator and allow to cool. Eat it.
Someone who knows a little something something about bringing the heat is Jez Dior. Jez is a Los Angeles based hip-hop artist who is preparing for the release of his first solo mixtape titled Scarlett Sage. The initial single from the mixtape, “Candles,” burns somewhere around 2,000,ooo scoville (making the ghost chili seem like an ice cube). It pairs Jez’s catchy rhymes with a hook sampled from Daughter. With this being a first release, I can’t even imagine the heat this man will bring in the future.
In visual form:
It is hard to imagine a dance track that offers an angrier chorus than “You are the bastard baby. You’ve killed us all so now we haunting you.” That is what flows from the nintendo laced speakers of Kopps new track “Bastard Baby.” The best part (aside from that mighty fine saxophone) is that as angry as the lyrics seem to be, one can’t tell from the music. In fact, it is hard not to shake your head and move your feet too this track. I’m envisioning a future where this song pours from the dance club speakers and the gyrating sexed up booty dancers seek out the nearest midsection offering a massive shot of adrenaline. I can’t help but laugh at that.