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Looking for a Word to Describe Different Eateries' Notions of "Spicy Hot"

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Looking for a Word to Describe Different Eateries' Notions of "Spicy Hot"

alanstotle | Nov 5, 2006 05:41 PM

Here’s the scenario. You go to some place that serves a spicy cuisine: Mexican food, Thai food, Chinese food, Caribbean food, what-have-you. You order some food and when they ask you how hot (spicy) you want it you say “medium.”

On the one hand, some places will bring you food that is truly medium hot; it seems that they make a clear distinction between mild, medium, and hot. On the other hand, some places will bring you food that they say is medium but is really mild; it seems that they only distinguish between very mild, mild, and slightly-hotter-than-mild.

What I’m looking for is a word or a label that describes this discrepancy or these two different interpretations of the mild-medium-hot scale. My wife and I sometimes call the latter “gringo hot” or “gringo-ified” since it seems to be a hot that’s been toned down for a Northern European/American palate.

I’d like a word that can work as an adjective to describe restaurants and eateries when reporting to forums like Chowhound. For example, I’d like to be able to say something like, “We really liked the menu choices, but the food wasn’t <insert term here> because we ordered it spicy and it came “gringo hot,” or “On the <insert term here> scale this eatery comes in at a 9 out of 10 because we ordered it medium and it came authentically medium.”

Any ideas? Thanks for your help.
Alan

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