Pleasure in Pain and the Spicy Fly.
Since time immemorial, humans have appreciated putting things into our mouths that hurt a little bit. Whether you’re a spice padowan or a spice Jedi, there’s a good chance that you’re part of the overwhelmingly large part of the population that appreciates spicy food and drinks.
In English, we refer to the phenomenon of our vanilliin receptors getting over-stimulated as “spiciness,” wherein a molecule that can activate a particular flavor receptor can also convince us that our mouth is on fire.
This molecule, capsiacin, freaking out taste buds since before there were humans.
But more recently, there have been a few runaway instances of the word “spicy” that have emerged in Internet parlance that may have crept across your desk. In the interest of Boomer-Zoomer diplomacy, we have compiled this article of spicy neologisms.
“The thread got spicy”
Perhaps related to the condition of being “salty” (link), a “spicy” thread occurs when tempers get heated for some reason (or, all too often, for apparently no reason). Much like spicy food, a thread that’s gotten spicy can be entertaining on some level but uncomfortable in high doses. Thankfully, unlike Internet drama, we’re pretty sure nobody has ever been physically hurt as a result of eating too much spicy food.
The dreaded “spicy fly”
When I was young, I knew a darling couple who came with an adorable cat named Sputnik. They lived in this basement apartment where I could barely stand up, and Sputnik got in and out through this little window that opened up onto the lawn. She would sit in that window and wait for flies to fly up toward the one source of natural light, and… boom! just catch them out of the air with one little ninja paw.
This is a pastime of so many quadrapeds, who — dogs especially — will eat their prey, to the appreciation and disgust of their human family. But sometimes, our friends end up tangling with a far more dangerous type of prey: the dreaded spicy fly.
That’s right. The “spicy fly” is a flying insect with a really sharp butt — wasp, bee, hornet, you name it.
Fortunately, most such animals survive these confrontations. But usually not without a lot of fun getting made of them by their human friends with cameras.
Novel spicy foods
Although capsaicin has been found exclusively in pepper plants, that hasn’t stopped humans from putting them into non-pepper foods such as barbecue, mac & cheese, fried rice, and so on. Here are a few of the more novel things we’ve seen become spicy that weren’t originally.
OK, admittedly we Googled this one as an example of one of the silliest foods to make spicy, and sure enough the Internet has provided. Red Hot flavor! Sriracha jello shots! Spicy applesauce jello! Red hot jello salad!
In Rehoboth Beach, one ice cream shop sells an ice cream that’s so spicy they ask for waivers from anyone who wants to buy it.
Lemonade may typically be a kind of “cooler,” but here at Potter Wines in Boise, ID we have been selling Jalapeno Wine Lemonade to go with a flight of recipes that call for something sweet, tangy, and boozy. Here are a couple of samples: