A romance with roots in hot sauce. That’s how I would classify one aspect of my relationship with my husband Dale. Being from Louisiana, he is used to having hot sauce as a “side” with almost every food, oatmeal excluded, of course. I, on the other hand, was raised in Iowa, where hot sauce is imported for people from Louisiana. When Dale first learned that this Midwest, corn fed girl was obsessed with hot sauce to almost the same degree as he was, his love for me instantly grew brighter.
Since we’ve been together, our general attitude about hot sauce has been the hotter, the better. Or so we thought until we stepped off the ferry in Punta Gorda, Belize. We were spending one night there before traveling north for some island time.
That evening we wandered across town to a family restaurant where they served food buffet style. The decor was nothing to boast about, but the food was tasty and diverse. The best part, though, was that they made their own hot sauce. Score!
We sampled the mild sauce. It was flavorful but didn’t satisfy our thirst for heat. Next, we both put a couple drops of their yellow “hot” hot sauce on a bite of food. The instant it touched the inside of our mouths we both gasped for breath and flapped our hands in front of our lips, like the breeze we were creating could really calm the inferno roaring inside.
Pain is the best way to describe our existence for the next five or so minutes. We couldn’t eat, think, talk – nothing functioned. It was as though the heat from the sauce had melted our brains.
Once the fire abated, we both said something we never thought possible: “I’m never going to try a hot sauce that hot again!” And so began our vacation in Belize.