A few months ago my father forwarded me a link to a popular science article: “Chilli Study Reveals Why Some Like It Hot.” A friend of his had passed on the link to both my father and my uncle.
Of course he had thought of our family when he saw the article. My grandmother cooked and canned hundreds, if not thousands of oil-packed peppers since the 1970s. The peppers became a huge hit with friends and acquaintances. Soon the operation moved out of her kitchen and into my uncle’s garage. He and my dad, along with many friends would make and can the peppers in huge batches. My uncle went on to turn the peppers into a side business. You can buy them online at the website Suhey Peppers.
According to the article, Bianca Nogrady explains that for people who like spicy foods, along with the love of the burn comes an association with reward-seeking behavior:
Researchers from Pennsylvania State University have found a love of chilli is associated with sensation seeking and reward, but found no evidence that chilli lovers get desensitised to chilli burn over time.
So, apparently, contrary to popular belief, you never get desensitized to spicy foods. You just learn to love the burn. I also read a few article recently about how sometimes perceived pain can become pleasurable if it’s less intense than expected.
My family members and I put these peppers on everything. Spaghetti, burgers, sandwiches, crackers. The most common way I eat them is on my eggs. Are we intense people? I guess you can say that. Maybe you’re not into spicy food. Maybe the idea of peppers first thing in the morning makes you shudder. But for me, it’s the best way to start the day!
We woke up early this Saturday morning and contemplated going out to brunch, but I decided to devise a quick breakfast out of things in the fridge. I had exactly one half a cup of yellow polenta (grits), some left over greens and eggs. And of course, a half-eaten jar of peppers.
I grew to love grits while living in the south. Normally I like them the cheesier the better, but with no cheese to be found in the fridge, we went for the simple, classic preparation with water and salt!
I try to eat greens every morning. Today we got a double dose of both baby spinach and kale.
Hot Peppers, Eggs and Kale over Grits
(Featuring Suhey Peppers)
- 1/2 cup yellow polenta or grits
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cup water
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 handfuls chopped kale
- 2 handfuls baby spinach
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (or 1 clove chopped fresh garlic)
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder (or 1/2 fresh onion diced)
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs
- 1-3 heaping tablespoons oil-packed peppers like Suhey Peppers
- avocado slices for garnish, optional
- In a small saucepan, combine grits, 1/2 teaspoon salt and water. Bring to a slow boil for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Once water is absorbed, removed from heat.
- While grits cook, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a skillet or saucepan. If using fresh garlic and onion, cook in oil until transparent. Add spinach and kale, along with powdered garlic and onion. Cook until wilted, about 5-10 minutes.
- Spoon grits onto plate, then top with greens.
- Heat 2 tablespoons oil in the same skillet used for greens. Fry two eggs sunny side up with a few dashes of salt. Carefully place eggs on top of greens and grits.
- Spoon desired amount of peppers over eggs. Garnish with avocado slices.
I had plated the grits, greens and eggs and taken photos, then started to eat when I realized I had forgotten the avocado!