My wife teaches school. On her way home, she was going to stop at the grocery store and pick up a few things that we needed for dinner. She committed a major mistake, a faux pas, an act of rebellion so grievous that even the ability for forgiveness is not negotiable. She bought mild picante sauce.
Now, my mother is Italian and I grew up on the Mexican border in Texas. I've lived within 100 miles of that border for over 80% of my life I still live in Southern New Mexico. In other words, food has to be spicy. I have this biological need for jalapenos, green chilis, Tabasco sauce, onions, garlic, and anything else with a zesty flavor.
My wife, however, is from Salem, Massachusetts. She can't eat a cinnamon candy without complaining of the heat. Red Hots are completely out of the question for her.
Our refrigerator always has two different bottles of salsa/picante sauce. There's the hot one for me and the Peach Pinapple Salsa for her (mild, of course). Even then, her's will still bring tears to her eyes and require a large drink of something cold. My son, however, sits with me on this. In fact, his food has more Tabasco than mine.
Let me illustrate my point with a little example:
Back in the early summer of 1994, we were sitting in a Mexican restaurant (or so they called it) that was at least 400 miles from the border (in other words, it wasn't authentic and catered to gringos). They had the normal, complimentary bowl of chips and salsa on the table.
My son, then about eighteen months old, was sitting in his high chair and constantly begging for chips (dipped into their wimpy salsa). Finally, he managed to reach from his high chair and pull the salsa to him and started eating it with a spoon. People in the restaurant (customers and employees) were horrified that I was abusing my baby by burning him with this hot food.
I told our complaining waitress "why should I worry? He's had tomato soup that was spicier than this."
If we hadn't left the restaurant when we did, I'm sure that Child Protective Services and the Food Police would have arrested me for physical abuse of a child.
This same restaurant, by the way, cooked lettuce into their normal chicken soup and called it Posole…and also said that it was authentic. Please be aware that there is no "authentic" Mexican food that uses lettuce because…..they don't eat lettuce in Mexico!
Anyway, I'm considering a proper punishment for my wife, and wondering how this travesty of a sauce can be properly destroyed without contaminating my taste buds.