BG Eats: Challenge Edition!

John Greer

Rather than write a regular food review for the last week of BG Eats this semester, I have chosen instead to do a food challenge. Well, the editors told me to do a food challenge. So, I began looking for options. The idea of slogging through a massive quantity of food was less than appealing, so I opted instead to test the resolve of my taste buds in a spice-based challenge. I was not looking forward to this. 

The objective to conquer was at Thai Thai, a place favorably reviewed during last semester. Thai Thai offers customers to specify the level of spiciness they prefer in their dishes, on a range from 1-10. Normally a level three or four is enough for a pleasant heat that can even induce a little perspiration. 

In search of a proper, if somewhat dreaded, challenge, this time I decided to ask for my green curry with a level 10 heat. This produced a laugh and quizzical glance from the waitress. I cautiously committed anyway.  

The curry that arrived was innocuous in appearance, which helped sooth my increasing anxiety. The roasted vegetables and chicken that sat simmering in a bowl of milky, green-hued broth added a comfortable familiarity. I asked for an additional serving of steamed rice to be safe. 

With two sides of rice and a tall glass of ice water at the ready, I tucked in. Thankfully, the first impression to come through was the savory complexity of the curry, which assuaged the fear that the spiciness would dominate any other flavor. This would actually still taste good.

I was not as thankful for the hint of pure spice creeping along the back of the tongue. 

This soon sparked into a sweltering fire that failed to subside until well after the meal was finished. The strain of a hard-fought battle quickly became visible.

Within minutes, my forehead started to sweat, phlegm was unleashed from the nostrils, and the napkin turned into an emergency tissue. Common table manners were quickly discarded. 

Yet after several minutes of agony, multiple glasses of ice-water and a heaping helping of rice, the curry was conquered. If my appearance at the end was any indication, it was more of a Pyrrhic victory. I certainly did not emerge unscathed. The pangs of heartburn felt hours later were a painful reminder. 

For those who really enjoy eating food (or anyone who eats for that matter), treating it as a nemesis puts the act in a very different light. To conquer it provides a new kind of satisfaction. Would I recommend it? Only if you’re really looking for a thrill. 


The Thai Thai Challenge from WKU Herald on Vimeo.