Hot, hot, hot and… hotter still? (December Reflections 16)

A recent update to WordPress appears to have broken image uploads so we are for the time being bereft of photos. We have spent hours in attempting to resolve the issue with no success. I apologise. Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible. In the meantime, I have decided that words are more important anyway so there is no point in holding posts back until we get a fix in place.

The sixteenth December Reflections prompt is: Hot

I had expected to be writing today about the heat that we experienced in France this summer, when the temperatures soared well into the forties. However, that’s been and gone and is pretty boring anyway; Brits moaning about the weather!

Here I am then, in not so sunny Portugal, where it is currently not in the least bit hot (though I was certain that it is considerably warmer here than it is at home, that turns out not to be the case today!). So, if we are not to discuss the weather what can we talk about that is more topical?

Well, we are here in Portugal, the home of the Piri-Piri Chilli. Last year I blogged about the enormous choice of Piri-Piri oils and sauces in the Intermarché in Sagres. This year I have noted that the Piri-Piri section has been extended. Yes, there is now further choice. I plumped for this gorgeous little bottle of oil. (Missing Image)

I noted the other day that one can tell that one is in Portugal by virtue of the fact that there is an extra condiment on the table. This was at a fish restaurant in town. (Missing Image)

Mr L ordered the Piri-Piri Chicken, which came in the traditional manner i.e. not hot. He was asked if he wanted the hot sauce that was already on the table or if he wanted the extra-hot and he indicated that he would. The waiter produced a small bottle with a flourish and suggested that care be taken. The bottle bore a skull and crossbones and a “Danger” warning. Being a veteran of Bradford and Manchester curry house, he scoffed at this show. He soon changed his tune when he tried his chicken though. Luckily he got away with it and had not added too much sauce. (Missing Image)

Not very Portuguese, I know, but we love the Indian Restaurant in town, the Holi Diwali and we eat there as often as we can. The team there always welcome us and I think may even have a soft spot for us. They always ask how we want our curry spiced. Mr L always asks for Hot but I sometimes request Medium, depending on the dish that I have ordered and whether or not I feel it should be more delicately treated. To their great credit, the spicing levels are lively. We live in France, where spicy food is not much appreciated and the Indian restaurants that we have visited have failed spectacularly to deliver a spicy dish, even when “hot” has been ordered. Eating at Holi Diwali is a real treat for us.

Holi Diwali serve a most excellent Poppadom and we find them irresistible. Last week our Poppadoms arrived, together with the usual trio of sauces (Tamarind, Mango and Yoghurt/Mint) but after a few minutes the Chef came to our table with an extra dish of “Special Hot Sauce… fresh!” plus a warning to be careful. (Missing Image)

He wasn’t wrong. It was HOT and it gave me chilli hiccups but it was fabulous. I couldn’t even make something like that myself at home as hot chillies don’t seem to be available locally (though I can get Scotch Bonnets if we go to Grand Frais at Limoges.) In fact our local supermarkets rarely offer any chillies at all so, when I seize them triumphantly and bear them aloft to the till, it is always devastating to get them home and find that they lack heat.

Intermarché here sell fresh chillies in abundance and seem always to have the Piri-Piris. Last year I made Piri-Piri Chicken in the van for Mr L’s birthday dinner. He wanted to do the same again this year but various factors have combined to make that plan unworkable (we will be having a non-spicy dish instead) – we will try again for our Wedding Anniversary meal if we land somewhere near a sizeable shop.

Be First to Comment

I enjoy reading your comments, please pass the time of day