Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Day 117: Hot Hot Hot

Today, I decided to have gumbo, because it contains shrimp, and because it was the only thing I might have remotely disliked at The Elk, a restaurant just steps outside my front door. Unfortunately, the shrimps were tiny and impossible to find or taste in the soup. On the other hand, this particular gumbo brings me to one of my foodie pet peeves, which I think qualifies as something I don't like. When you're making a hot dish (like spicy hot), don't rely on the spice for all your flavor. There has to be salt, too. All the ingredients have to work together. Don't just throw in a handful of cayenne and call it good.

I'm sure there are many camps in regards to this kind of spice. I enjoy spicy food. A lot. In fact, there are dishes that make my lips blister that I can appreciate because the spice and the flavors balance well. But when heat is all you have going? Nope. Can't do it. It's all about balance. Taste your food before you serve it. And don't fall back on the idea that the spice will burn their taste buds off, so you don't have to add other flavors. Most of the time, it just isn't true.

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