Food Is Not Supposed To Hurt

Let’s end the week with something else from the stupid news file. A fight broke out at a kebab stand in a Bremen, Germany train station because a customer was allegedly refused napkins by the salesman at the stand. The dispute erupted when the 23 year old customer, for lack of any other means of cleaning his hands, wiped them on the stand. I’m not really sure, but I don’t really think that got all the mess off his hands; the vendor retaliated by flinging a ladle of kebab sauce at the customer, splashing him in the face and, of course, the eyes. Naturally, the police were called to investigate and that’s just what they did. First things first, though, they took a sample of the sauce to decide whether it constituted normal or grievous bodily harm because the man’s eyes became bloodshot. Let’s see, salt (no doubt), tomato in some form or other (perhaps), maybe a hot pepper all thrown into the mix, yeah, that’s an owie! Police are also investigating why the napkin debacle happened in the first place and it’s a good possibility both men will be facing charges.

But you don’t have to have salsa thrown into your face to make your eyes get bloodshot. Especially if you’re eating Dave’s Insanity Salsa. I’m telling you, I learned my lesson while hurting myself at the same time. Once upon a time, when visiting some of Ariel’s cousins, we got into a discussion of tolerating spicy hot foods. Rounds of “Well, I can eat blah blah blah” and “I can eat a BLAH blah blah” volleyed back and forth across the table to the point where a challenge was issued and since I had the means, I bought a jar of the hottest salsa I could find and that was Dave’s Insanity Salsa.

This concoction is made up of Red Savina Habanero peppers, which certifiably rate at just over 577,000 Scoville heat units which is doubly as hot as regular Habanero peppers and 65 times hotter than a Jalapeno. The Scoville scale is named after Wilbur Scoville who developed the test in 1912. My sister is gonna love this reference–original TABASCO brand hot sauce has a heat rating of a mere 2,500-5,000. (We had challenged each other once to a spoonful of it when we were younger and wondered if we’d ever see the light of day again) By comparison, a plain old every day Sweet Bell pepper falls in at 0 and coming in at between 100-500 is a Pimento. Also listed in the ingredients is regular Habaneros, which clock in between 100,000 and 350,000; Thai chiles that fall between 50 and 100 thousand, plus some juice from a pineapple and some spices. So, you kind of get an idea of where this is going, right?

dave's insanity salsaMy order of various salsas arrived and we made arrangements to visit Maribel, John, Maggy and Nelson for a night of wine drinking and persiflage, as we often do. Somehow the red wines they serve suit my pallet, and no fishy finish. But, anyway, the time came to open the bag of chips and Dave’s Insanity Salsa, which, by the way, on the Scoville scale, is a tame 180,000. Facing off against each other, John and I, armed with a single chip prepared to dip. I chose to scoop, he chose to dip, and only the very corner of his chip. CRUNCH. While I was writhing and convulsing on the floor, desperately in search of a remedy, however ineffective, my face was drenched with sweat, my tongue felt as though it had swollen to proportions beyond what my mouth could accommodate, and John recoiled and with a disapproving and surprised scowl on his face made the statement which is the title of today’s blog, “Food is not supposed to hurt!”. I was told some time later that my eyes were turning blood red and the funny thing is, I could feel it happening. And then, go figure, John’s son was dipping into it with nary a reaction.

I’m assuming the German kabob customer did not have this strong a salsa thrown into his face as the report did not mention anything about blindness or the liquefaction of his eyeballs.

That’s all I got. It’s time for the weekend. Enjoy.

PS. I found a website that sells these Red Savina Habaneros in a variety of mixtures and extracts that will not sell to minors. And here are two more figures: pure capsaicin tops the Scoville list at 16,000,000 heat units and police grade pepper spray ranks at 5,300,000.

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3 Responses to “Food Is Not Supposed To Hurt”

  1. Donna Says:

    I knew the Tabasco story would be in there somewhere 🙂 I like spicy food to a point…I like to ENJOY food 🙂 Have a great weekend! Oh, and your description of how the police took a samle of the sauce to decide whether it constituted normal or grievous bodily harm because the man’s eyes became bloodshot… is hilarious!

  2. Melissa Says:


    I’m a little stuck on some of the figures though … if Dave’s Insanity Hot sauce is made up of peppers that rate at 577,000 on the Scoville scale, then how can the overall rating of the salsa be only 180,000? Strikes me as odd. I guess it depends on the heat distribution based on ratio of peppers to “other ingredients.” Hmm… I wonder if there is some formula to figure the numbers. Sorry, the mathmetician in me is going simply mad right now!

    • brianksigley Says:

      I’m sure it’s the dilution of all the other ingredients. I would imagine full blast would be enough to melt the glass jar

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