Of Spice, Epicureanism, and Masochism: Confessions of an Aspergian Food Lover

(Note: although  WWA is officially on hiatus,  a recent experience inspired me to write this and share it with my readers. Enjoy. — Nicole)

One day this past week, my fiancé and I went to Lotus Grill, a Chinese eatery that is near where I work. A few weeks back, the owner’s son had given us a Chinese menu, which is a little different than the standard American menu that is on the wall next to the cash register/ordering area and the printed menus out on the counter. My fiancé and I have gotten to know the owner and her son, and we are pretty frequent visitors.

I decided to try one of the items on the Chinese menu. Since we can’t read Chinese, I asked him to recommend something spicy with chicken in it. He recommended what I would best call Hot Pepper Chicken Version 1, mainly because it differs from the version on the restaurant’s American menu. The dish has chicken, jalapeno peppers, green onion, Napa cabbage, bok choy, mushrooms, and ginger with a sauce made from soy, peppercorns, and vinegar. Needless to say it is very savory, salty, and FLAMING HOT. Below is a picture of what I ate (mind you, I’d eaten nearly half of it already, but I wanted to at least give you a visual):

Hot Pepper Chicken Version 1

And I was in Heaven.

This might surprise you, coming from an Aspie. Or it might not. I’ve encountered other Aspies talk about their sensory issues with food, and I’ve seen all different kinds of responses about what others can and cannot tolerate. I don’t have many sensory issues involving food except that I tend to dislike anything with an overly mushy texture (hence, I hate liver). But I LOVE spicy food.

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