What you’re about to read is not embellished in the slightest, as anyone who’s known me for a significant amount of time can attest.

And I truly do not understand what happened, so this isn’t a brag – it’s kind of a cry for help haha. If you have some insight please help me out by sharing!

entovegan dad tongue fire happy spicy food

Not my dad. But a good representation of how I remember dinner growing up. Also, he was “happy” and “enjoying the food”.

So, I don’t do spicy food. I grew up with a family that loved it, all with varying tolerance levels, but spice – the hot, burning, capsaicin kind – was ever present.

My mom took pity on me, so I wasn’t forced to eat it, strangely enough given how strict my parents were and how there was rarely any “out” when something was deemed good for us…even if by “good” that just meant “harden the f*ck up, cupcake.”

Ok, maybe I’m embellishing slightly – my parents gave me lots of love…but they didn’t tolerate wimpy behavior, so thinking about it now I’m not sure why I never had to eat spicy food when the rest of them were enjoying it.

Maybe they just never noticed, so busy they were with determining who was the strongest among them, dousing every dish with hot sauce, while dabbing their continually sweating brows from the first bite until the plates were clean.

Anyway, as an adult my tolerance for spicy food has never really changed, although my schemes for not looking like a wuss in group settings have gotten varied mileage. Usually though I can avoid the spice without drawing attention to said avoidance.

If it becomes a table topic though, who likes spicy food and who doesn’t, I’ve become comfortable enough in my own skin to just admit I don’t like spicy food, that my tongue is better suited for things other than being on fire, wink wink.

Better to be laughed at for what they’re not sure is true, than to be laughed at for being a big baby!

I really don’t care for hot foods though, and never have (hold that thought).

Spice -capsaicin- burns my mouth, it is actually physically painful, it greatly inhibits my ability to enjoy any other part of the meal at all, and it just seems idiotic. Sorry not sorry.


WTF is the point of such torturous, spicy food?! I’ve always thought people who enjoy that are just straight up psychopaths or something. Or no, I guess that’d be a masochist.

Anyway – someone who likes to feel pain. Their own pain. As a means of looking cool in front of others?

That’s not me (the pain part – who am I kidding on the narcissism, you all saw my LADBible video!).

I have a sensitive mouth, it’s made for delicious foods and pleasurable sensations, not feeling like the fires of hell have been unleashed inside my face. Spicy food Satan, get thee away from me…!

But then something happened a couple months ago, and I am utterly perplexed by it.

I had some Thai soup or curry or bowl of the devil’s literal concocting, honestly I thought it was just going to be a coconut tofu dish until it lit me on fire from my bowels to the tips of my earlobes, I shit you not.

My hands were shaking and tingling like I’d just come in to the warmth from a snowball fight, the room was spinning, I honestly thought I was going to pass out.

But I had cricket powder with me, so I just kept pouring it in, and chowing down, trying to keep a brave face (spoiler: I’m pretty sure everyone at the table was on the cusp of either dialing 911 emergency or livestreaming my impending doom, whichever way they roll).

Alright, so that happened, and it was miserable, but clearly I survived to tell the tale. By the next day it had been forgotten – well, once it passed through the other side.

Now, fast forward through the holidays. I first noticed that I’d changed around Thanksgiving, a traditional US holiday focused on food (aka, the Great American Celebration of Gluttony, aka, Ben Stiller’s character at the end of Dodgeball day).

#grateful, everybody

While I convinced everybody to forego the turkey for bugs this year, during the various meals there were foods prepared which I was warned would be spicy. But strangely, I didn’t find them spicy whatsoever.

I chalked it up to my mom’s spice tolerance lowering over time, because surely I wasn’t getting more accustomed to spicy food. Hell, I’d almost died live on the internet just days earlier in Thailand from an overdose of chillies! So, clearly, this food wasn’t actually spicy.

But then I went to Mexico. And mi amigo Mario, el Chef Melgarejo, he doesn’t mess around when it comes to spicy foods. There may be no greater national pride in Scofield Meter tolerance than that of a foodie in Mexico, with honorable mention to the Thais and Indians.

So when Mario’s daughter warned me that the nopal, beans, and tortilla plate he’d made them was muy picante, I saw it as the perfect way to privately test my taste buds to see if the US experience was real or an anomaly.

Si, por favor, me encantaria probarlo. Yes please, this gringo’s dumb enough to think he can handle it.

And then I sat there puzzled, because I didn’t know what she was talking about – it wasn’t spicy at all. I mean, I could taste the “spice”, in the sense of it being flavorful. But it wasn’t hot. It didn’t hurt.

I could eat it, fully acknowledge that it had spice, had bite, had chillies…but it didn’t make me want to run to the fridge, drooling, and throw Entovegan out the window in order to guzzle a liter of milk.

It actually didn’t really do anything – the spice came across as just another flavor.

At that point, I started freaking out. I’m not just starting my journey around the block here, I’ve been round and round all over this lovely planet, and I’ve experienced plenty.

spicy pepper sexy mouth conflicted entovegan

I’m feeling so conflicted right now.

My self-awareness is also decent – I know what I like and dislike, along with my strengths and weaknesses.

And I know, for certain, I’ve never ever been into spice. (Ok, maybe Posh…but only just a little.)

While I tend to strive toward overcoming flaws and weaknesses in my character, though, the spicy food thing was never on the table as an option to fix, I thought.

I just figured my inability to eat spicy food would go to my grave with me, an unchangeable part of my being in this sim, like being occasionally blonde and most of the time really really really ridiculously good looking.

That was a joke, dude. Calm down.

Anyway, so I told Mario what was happening to me. He’s my friend, so he was of course empathetic to my situation.

He’s also my buddy, so I knew that telling him would mean the rest of the trip he’d be attempting to murder me with hidden chillies and brutally hot foods just for fun.

“Josh, quieres una cucaracha?” 

Sure, Mario, I’d love to eat a cockroach SECRETLY STUFFED WITH MEXICO’S HOTTEST PEPPERS.

No, actually that didn’t happen lol. But I kept waiting for it.

What did happen though is that I kept eating spicy food, and it not being spicy. I went to Argentina for a week, and they don’t do spice at all, so I found myself asking for the hot sauce. WTF!

I came back to Asia and had a spicy AF ramen challenge with a bunch of neighborhood kids who didn’t believe my claims to have now found spice religion.

Not only did I win (no water; dummies, like drinking water is even a benefit haha), but I also repeatedly won the rock-paper-scissors to even have the choice to drink water or not. I never win rock-paper-scissors! Did we have a pole shift? What is happening in the world!

My tweet the other day was not meant as braggadocio – it’s a genuine plea for help! I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I can suddenly eat spicy food, and actually enjoy it. This is NOT NORMAL.

chili fried crickets cambodia entovegan

Lovely photo of chili fried crickets from theworldtastesgood.blogspot.com

For 35+ years I have been tortured by spicy food, and now suddenly, all good? How? Why? And how do I prevent a reversal?! I really don’t want a reversal. I like that I magically overcame this weakness of mine. lol

In fact, I’m sitting here eating a bowl of fried crickets while I type this (yes, I have to keep wiping my hands off to avoid greasing up the keyboard), and typically I avoid the little chilies they put in there…today I’m just eating them, and they hardly even give me a zing.

I mean, I can taste them, but what would previously leave me coughing and begging for water, bread, uncooked rice, dirt, I didn’t care! – now is just another flavor.

I don’t mean to belabor the issue, but seriously. W.T.F.!

So where do I go from here? Have I unlocked some higher level of earthly consciousness and just not realized it yet?

Should I petition Hot Ones to swap out the spicy wings for spicy roaches or locusts, and invite me on? (Hmmm…)

Did I just become an Avenger?

I’ve done some googling and read plenty of threads, but none of it really applied to my situation. This article (h/t @CowboyCrickets) sheds some light on the addictive properties of capsaicin, but doesn’t fully explain things either.

I’m certainly not craving spice, I’m still frankly terrified that I’m going to get overly cocky and one day I’ll confidently sit down to dinner in Thailand and the chickens are going to come home to roost and I’ll realize it was only just a dream, while I cry and drool and generally lose face in an unrecoverable way.

I’m not looking for spice, mind you, like someone who’s flipped and suddenly likes it and needs the rush. I’m still very, very scared of it. I think I’d still prefer the spice level of hummus.

But capsaicin doesn’t hurt me anymore. It’s kinda flavorful…delicious, at times.

Is the key to overcoming the avoidance of spicy food to just almost overdose on the hottest Thai spice available, and then, voila, you’re a Scofield rockstar?

Is it because I almost died AND ate spoonful after spoonful of cricket powder at the same time that was happening, so somehow the combination of cricket protein and spice has given me almost god-level spice tolerance? (And yes, mom, I realize that even typing that line, let alone publishing it, is gonna lead to some SERIOUS testing lol).

I’m at a loss for words. Ok, not really, I just typed 1812 of them.

But I really don’t get it. Please help me.

Thanks in advance!

[UPDATE 2021: I’ve continued to eat the spiciest dishes every time I have the option. Recently, Chef Mario made me eat a habañero all by its lonesome. It was spicy, yeah, but I handled it well enough that I ate a second one. My spice tolerance has remained at epic levels. Thanks to cricket powder and Thai curry, I guess…no other explanation for this amazing phenomenon.]

spicy peppers chart entovegan

Yes, I realize the Reaper isn’t on here (“over 1 million!!!!!!”). This blog post isn’t totally scientific. Go bite- a pepper.


Pin It on Pinterest