For years my friends have made fun of how sensitive I am to spicy food (Laura, I am specifically thinking of you and the nacho cheese incident!), but I think I have an answer. I am fairly certain that I am actually allergic to hot peppers. Now I don't try hot stuff too often, but a couple of incidents have led me to this ground-breaking discovery.
First, a few weeks ago Amos was making a huge batch of pickled hot peppers to can, which involved boiling them on the stove with a lot of vinegar. I took the baby out for a walk for most of it, since the smell was pretty overbearing,
but eventually we had to come back for bedtime. When I walked in the house I was almost bowled over; my eyes burned and watered, I started coughing and having trouble breathing, and my throat started to close up. I had a hard time nursing the baby, in fact, because I kept coughing. The smell didn't seem to bother her at all, though, and Amos even gave me a little bit of a hard time for being such a wimp.
Secondly, today I wanted to make a peanut sauce like the kind Carrie made last week. She used a little of the green Tabasco, made with jalapenos, which I surprisingly liked. Bare in mind that I was nursing the baby while trying to eat this sauce and the yum spring rolls she made, so I didn't actually eat that much of it, but I wanted to duplicate it today for lunch. I added maybe a teaspoon of hot sauce to the whole batch, maybe. I had to actually stop eating because the inside of my mouth and lips were burning and itching.
I looked it up and I think I'm allergic to capsaicin, which is part of what makes the peppers hot as opposed to bell peppers (which I love and cause me no trouble). So, there you go – I'm not just a wimp, I'm a victim of science!
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