Lime & Hot Sauce
So, sometimes I make dinner. Sometimes. And when I make dinner, there are three things that my husband always seems to say:
1. It needs salt.
2. It needs lime.
3. It needs hot sauce.
If not, of course, some devilish combination of all three. Today, though, I will leave the salt in the cupboard and focus primarily on the green and red. After all, those two ‘staples’ basically have their own food budget.
Have you ever seen blood-red mashed potatoes? Or added lime and Frank’s Red to your nice, warm bowl of chicken-flavoured Ichiban noodle soup? Or eaten Cheetos with Valentina Hot Sauce as a flavour-enhancer?
No? Then you must not be Mexican – or related to one by marriage.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying any of this would taste bad. On the contrary, my husband has effectively turned a number of my family members and friends into avid lime and hot sauce users. I often feel as though he should be offered compensation from Frank’s and Valentina for all the free marketing he gives them.
And it’s not just him. Hot sauce is readily available at every Mexican get-together I’ve ever attended. I have grown so used to it that it’s now actually strange to me to go to a restaurant and not see hot sauce on the table. Because, just…why wouldn’t it be? Don’t you serve Mexicans here?
And so, while I understand the allure (Valentina’s is actually really tasty), I grew up with so much food variety (all hail multiculturalism 😀 ) that I would literally not be able to stomach all that lime and hot sauce all that often. It would probably end up giving me an ulcer at some point. The truth is, I enjoy bland-tasting foods as much as I enjoy rich flavours. It’s like slow classical vs. house music: they both have their time and place. But not according to Humberto. In his view, every food is enhanced with acid and heat. He and I have been together for about three and a half years, and, although I will – on occasion – dabble in his culture’s fire gravy, he still has not been able to lure my taste buds that far over the wall.
At the end of the day, despite all my incredulity, the next time we sit down to a meal with friends and I watch him squeezing fresh lime or pouring hot sauce onto some obscure and unsuspecting food, I will shake my head in disbelief and watch in amazement as our friends decide to follow suit – becoming a little more Mexican than they were before – in drizzling the blood of the Mexican atop their own meals.
Seriously, though, Cheetos and Valentina. Go and try it. You can thank me later.