Our son just turned one year old, and our pediatrician says we can start feeding him "food from the table - whatever you're eating, just in smaller bites." Trouble is, I think she's assuming we eat a typical Anglo-american diet - we're both from more or less Euro-American backgrounds (both Midwesterners, one by way of German-Irish, one by way of Russian-Polish-Jewish) with correspondingly bland ancestral cuisines. Our doctor's (I'm guessing) eastern-european Jewish American herself... so I think when she says "whatever you're eating" she expects that that's meat and potatoes, maybe some Italian food....
Actually, we make a lot of hot and spicy food - Southeast Asian, Mexican, Chinese, etc. Since we're the first generation in both of our families to cook and eat this way at home, we don't have any family wisdom or cultural knowledge to go on in terms of when it's okay to start giving spicy food to the baby.
So I'm wondering if there are any folks out there who come from spicy-food cultures who can advise me. If you're Thai, Indian, Chinese, Mexican (by descent) - is it typical to give babies spicy food as soon as they're ready to eat solids? Is it something you ease babies into?