The last time that hot was the Photo Hunt theme of the week (back on November 24, 2007), I went for a hot weather option. But seeing much truth as I do in the saying that variety is the spice of life -- and so much so this is the second blog post in a row in which I find it appropriate to mention this idiom in the first paragraph! -- I've gone for a different take on the theme this time around: one which involves hot and spicy food, the kind that can make it feel like your mouth is on fire and cause your sweat glands to work over time...
More specifically, regardless of whether it's served at the eatery that actually has the unwieldy name of Eating in Sanctum of Hot & Spice or elsewhere, the cuisine of Thailand gets my vote for being the hottest food I've ever eaten. For although I do realize that Thai dishes include non-spicy options like delicious mango with sticky rice (and rich coconut milk), items such as nam prik (Thai chilli pastes or dipping sauces) and tom yam kung are so spicy hot that they have often caused me to cry even while I masochistically continue savoring them (because they really are so very tasty as well as often downright painful to eat!).
Considering that Thailand is the northern neighbor of my home country of Malaysia, it can seem strange that I first became majorly drawn to Thai food when living in England. But this is indeed the case -- and due in no small part due to an airline flight engineer uncle of mine introducing me to his favorite Thai restaurant, located in the basement of a Kensington High Street building, that I would make a point to go eat at each time I went to London during a half-term break from boarding school.
In the years since, I also came to have favorite Thai eateries when living in Philadelphia (including a neighborhood restaurant in West Philadelphia whose owners previously had been behind the famous Thai food truck that would park by Penn's campus) and now in Hong Kong (particularly in Kowloon City but also Kennedy Town). Still, it's true enough that Thai food is best eaten in Thailand... so much so that some twenty years on, I still find myself recalling with great pleasure a mouth-watering dinner I had in Chiang Mai, one that of course was characteristically hot and spicy but also oh so very delicious! :b