Vegans drink a lot of water.
Oh, I know what you’re thinking. Vegans drink it because drinking water is good for you. Water keeps your muscles moist. Vegans are anti-soda, anti-milk, and anti-Budweiser.
These things may all be true, but we drink a lot of water because our recipes are so spicy.
Did we eat spicy food before my wife went vegan? I like to think we did. We made tacos. We made our own salsa. But, except for a rogue onion or a bottle of outdated ketchup, nothing in our kitchen came close to being measured in Scoville units.
To our credit, we’re not eating that vegan stuff where you need quotation marks to describe it. We steer clear of vegan “burgers” or vegan “Salisbury steak.” We have never served tofu and called it “shrimp scampi”. But we infuse spices into many dishes that God didn’t intend to be sold in supermarkets or health food stores.
Many of the chiles we incorporate were used to ward off evil spirits as far back as the twelfth century. The literal translations of these chiles would send you running for the vanilla ice cream. We have used Jalapenos (“devil’s breath”), Serranos (“satan’s foot soldier”), Poblanos (“fire of the devil”) and Habaneros (“flamethrower of Beelzebub”) as routinely as other people use bread crumbs.
Emeril Lagasse shares the blame for some of my heartburn. Some people would be content using paprika, oregano, and thyme in varying measures, but he incorporated them with cayenne pepper, black pepper, salt, onion powder, and garlic powder into a super spicy spice. And what do we make with this hybrid spice? French fries. Bam!
But there is an upside to all this fieriness in my diet. We serve every meal with three tissues and any nasal congestion that I used to have is long gone.