Spicy food in Mexico is a way of life. Like peanut butter and jelly are staples of the good 'ol diet of American children, habenero peppers are fed to Mexican children like candy. If you think jalepeno pepper are hot, you should try habeneros; jalepenos are considered mild/medium in comparison. I have heard they are making a new Mayan chile which may be even hotter.
As part of our Mexican experience, I decided to incorporate some spice into our diet. The first day I made stuffed poblano chiles, which came out fantastic. Poblanos are mild by Mexican standards but would beat Taco Bell's super hot sauce by miles.
My second day of cooking burned me, pun intended. I decided to use jalepenos incorporated into a shrimp dish. No one told me I should have used gloves. I deseeded the peppers by hand and then chopped them up nice and thin. Apparently the juice from the peppers remains on the hands and can be transmitted to other parts of the body. Luckily I only touched my eye once, and was mildly blinded for a few minutes until I flushed it out with water.
However the residue on my fingers lingered for days, causing a mild burning sensation under my finger nails. Even after the 2nd day I could put my finger in my mouth and taste the burn. Thankfully I did not spread it to my privates, which I hear are extremely sensitive to the effects of peppers and burn like anything.
Overall I have found my taste buds are becoming acclimated to more spicy foods. I recall the first time I had spicy food - it was an Indian restaurant in Marbella, Spain and it was not a pleasant experience. How can one enjoy food when one's mouth is burning so much? Over time, and through all the spicy concoctions I eat south of the border, I am starting to like spicy more and more. However, I don't think I will ever become like my employees who use habenero sauce on everything - like we would add salt and pepper. The experience of their tounge burning is apparently a pleasant experince, at least according to their accounts. To support this claim just visit the local grocery store and witness the entire vegetable section practically dedicated to peppers. Like baseball teams are part of the US vocabulary, types of peppers roll of Mexican's tounges quicker than you can say Boston Red Sox.
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