Racially speaking, I am a Celt. I have some degree of Dutch lineage but the fact remains that if we were to drill back into history two thousand years, my unknown ancestors would have probably been the sort of people who the Romans thought were a complete waste of space and time. Because of this, I have been scientifically bred to live at the bottom of a peat bog, on a diet of Moss and twigs, and stand out in the rain for months at a go.
The Celts, Picts, Scots, Welsh, who all shared the sceptered isle which is less than forty miles from Europe, never really had a cuisine to speak of. Even as late as the 1980s, British cooking was derided as dull. If you wanted to cook like the English, all you needed to do was to boil whatever it was until it had turned to mush.
In consequence, the long genetic chain of history has meant that everyone in my immediate family, has a tolerance for heat and spice of virtually nil. In contrast, I have a ridiculous pain threshold and even if you gave me something to eat which was hotter than the surface of the sun, I'd still complain that it wasn't hot enough. I am not truly happy unless the backs of my eyeballs are on fire and I'm doubled over in writhing pain. I like spice. Turn the dial up to eleven.
Mrs Mac's has a pie called the Chilli Beef And Cheese; I think that it has an adequate amount of cheese but nothing near enough chilli. There is an Indian restaurant in Neutral Bay which has on their menu next to the entry for Vindaloo Lamb: "Caution: Hot!". I feel as though neither the exclamation point, the word "Hot" or even the word "Caution" need to be there. It is lovely but if you are going to advertise something as "Hot", then I expect to be bleeding out of my ears. Not even Tabasco Sauce bothers me particularly all that much. In fact, I keep a bottle of the stuff in my desk at work because if I want a snack, then I need to turn up the volume on a Bombay Bad Boy Pot Noodle.
I would love to get my hands on a Naga Chilli. I heard Kerry O'Keefe on the radio being given one, during a cricket broadcast, and has he gagged and demanded yoghurt, I thought " I want in on that ".
I can fully understand why after successive waves of invasions, British people decided that they'd had enough of living in peat bogs; in perpetual rain. The Roman Empire was founded on a system of organisation and discipline; the Spanish Empire was established on a desire to find untold riches of silver and gold; the British Empire set its boundaries wider still and wider, not because there was some guiding principle but in the search for spices.
This is why the moon was always going to be American and not British. What's the point of landing twelve clowns on the moon and sticking a flag in it, thus stealing countries through the cunning use of flags, if after you've installed parliamentary democracy and the rule of law, if there's no hot and spicy food to bring home? If Donald Trump had any brains, he wouldn't be building a wall to keep the Mexicans out, rather, he'd embark on a policy of the full scale invasion of Mexico so that he could annexe the place and claim all the Antojitos he could find.
Give me futomaki with nothing but rice and wasabi in. Better yet, give me one of those ehomaki with the okra, horseradish sauce and ginger, drizzled in chilli oil. I want to be able to breath out and see flames darting out of my nostrils like Gojira.
A kebab isn't a proper kebab unless you need to sign a medical waiver before you purchase it. I want Texas Chilli Rice so hot that it violates the Eighth Amendment clause not to impose "cruel and unusual punishment". And after the whole thing has burned through my intestines like molten metal through a stick of butter, I want it to be so angry on the way out that even Union Carbide takes a step back and thinks that their disaster at Bhopal was less of an environmental health hazard.
While I might think that a box of Cadbury Roses is a perfectly delightful gift, what I'm secretly hoping for is a Tiger Chilli Beef Pie with mushy peas, mash and chilli sauce from Harry's Café de Wheels.