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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Hot! Hot! Hot!

It is a common complaint of expats here that Uruguay does not have spicy food. That is true, the local foods do seem to be rather bland, in comparison with what we are used to. Not as flavored, nor with much, if any spice. I bought a little bottle of Salsa Picante (should have been hot sauce), and it was little more than ketchup with a mild vinegar taste.

So the other day, when I saw this package of "Catalan Picante" at Tienda Inglesa (the big market around here), I imagined that they would be nothing more than slightly spicier bell peppers. After getting them home and trying a bite, they seemed very mild.

Last night I used them for the first time with some bell peppers and chicken breasts. I chopped up three and added them to the mixture. It was a delicious meal, but I can tell you that we just barely had enough rice and milk to offset the fire. Yes, the cooking released some of the hottest hot I have ever tasted.

So, while the local cuisine may not be as spicy as some are used to- it is not for lack of ingredients. I think I will cut and freeze several packages of these and save them for later. And, now, knowing the power of these little peppers, I will add them carefully.

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