From Too Many Chefs -

October 3, 2007
Atsa One Spicy Meatball!

I remember once when visiting Meg in Paris, we went to a sort of country club for Irish and British ex-pats and I shocked and horrified the assembled throng by putting hot sauce on my fries. "You can't be serious!" one of them said as I raised a lovely hot sauce soaked chip to my lips.

I was understandably surprised when I read this article today from the TimesOnline about a restaurant shut down as hazmat teams searched for the source of a chemical gas leak or possible terrorist attack in Soho in London.

The source? A batch of dry-fried Thai chiles being made into nam prik pao, a spicy Thai dipping sauce. The Brits have certainly butched up if they're eating that sort of hot food. (But then again, they did call out the hazmat squad.)

Posted by Barrett in Maryland at October 3, 2007 9:05 AM

I'm a journalist writing several stories on blogging and would like to interview a writer for this blog.

Posted by Dee on October 3, 2007 at 10:04 AM

On the one hand, they were cooking up 9 lbs of thai bird chilis for their nam prik pao, which means there could have been a whole lot of capsaicin goin' on. On the other hand, the people in the restaurant where the sauce was being made were apparently unaware of any commotion and commented later that that batch wasn't even the hottest that they made. So I think that on the whole, the argument that Brits can tolerate heat might not hold water. (Then again, I've been told that nothing burns like some British versions of south Asian curries, so perhaps there's something to that argument after all.)

Posted by Sweth on October 6, 2007 at 1:29 PM