Hot Tooth

I had the pleasure of joining nine other yelpers recently for an excursion to Troy to enjoy pizza, beer and wings at the Notty Pine Tavern. It was a great time. Ten food lovers sitting around a table talking about—and eating—food. There’s nothing quite like spending time with like minded souls. Those who ‘get’ what you ‘get’. Those who enjoy what you enjoy.

Daniel B. of FUSSYlittleBLOG fame and Otis M. of Burnt My Fingers were discussing (I think) foods they like. Daniel made the observation that he had a ‘fat tooth’ and Otis an ‘acid tooth’. Just as it’s said that someone who loves sweets has a sweet tooth, Otis is fond of foods that have an acidic component, and Daniel those that contain fat.

That got me thinking.

What foods push my buttons? If one were to study what I like, what ‘tooth’ would I have? Discovering that is not as easy as it might seem.

Self reflection can be difficult. After all, we all have an image of ourselves, and setting that aside and being truly honest about who we are is not easy, even when it concerns something apparently trivial like one’s taste in food. Nor, might I add, necessarily fun. Peeling back the covers, and disrupting one’s self image can be a frightening experience. I think that’s why so many people (myself included) have no problem looking at themselves in the mirror, but loathe looking at pictures or videos of themselves… “Do I really look like that?”. Seeing yourself from the third person perspective is akin to being naked and pointed at by onlookers.

But I just needed a few minutes to sit down and ponder my preferences and it became as clear as day.

I have a hot tooth.

It’s almost silly, it was right there in front of me. I’m shocked I never realized it before. My next to last post spelled it all out. I love hot foods. Foods that are hot enough to cause injury. Hot enough to sear the roof of your mouth, and (to steal a phrase) hot enough to burn your fingers.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve eaten something that I expected to be hot, but it came to the table lukewarm and I was utterly disappointed. It still tasted good (I guess), but my love of heat, prevented me from enjoying it because the heat component was missing.

I also crave spicy foods, and I think that’s related to my love of hot temperatures. Spicy foods warm the mouth. It’s that mouth warming feeling that does it for me. It is just so comforting. A good analogy would be coming in from the wintry cold and sitting down by a roaring fireplace. Ahhhh.

It’s almost as if when I eat, I want to come in from the cold and sit down in front of the fire. And the more I reflect on this, the more I’m concerned it’s not normal. As I said in that previous post, I’m constantly perplexed by those who don’t care about the temperature of their food.

But what can I do about it?

“Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free!” That’s the key, knowledge is power. Admitting you have a problem is half way to solving the problem. Yet, I’m not so sure I want deal with my ‘problem’. Yes, I love blazing hot foods. Why do I need to deal with that? I’m not ready just yet to enter food rehab. I’m an addict and am proud of it.

I’m curious to know if others that crave spicy foods also share my affinity for burn-the-roof-of-your-mouth hot temperatures. There may be something there, and my tastes might not be that unique after all.

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