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Old 04-17-2005, 06:30 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by PolishedTopaz
A well seasoned tomato sauce is spicy GB, but not hot.
Also ... BBQ sauce, chili*, black bean soup, etc. also come to mind.

*made without hot pepper (I dont do it this way, but I know people who do).

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Old 04-17-2005, 07:15 PM   #12
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OK so what I am learning from this is that spicy refers to actual spices in the dish. If the dish has a lot of spices then it is spicy. Hot refers to heat from hot peppers and things like that. Thanks everyone, this has been very educational.

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Old 04-18-2005, 11:37 AM   #13
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Most things that are hot are also spicy. Chili, salsa, etc.

But you could add liquid capsaicin to say, jello, or lemonade or vanilla pudding and it would be hot but not spicy
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Old 04-18-2005, 11:44 AM   #14
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To me....

Spicy = taste
Hot = pain
In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on. Robert Frost
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Old 04-19-2005, 02:30 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by GB
OK so what would be an example of a food that is spicy, but not hot?
Most all cajun and creole dishes, WHEN PREPARED PROPERLY and traditionally, are spicy but NOT hot. That crazy heat thing came from the huge blackened craze in the mid 80's

Gumbo - spicy but not hot
etoufee - spicy but not hot
creole - spicy not hot
courtbouillon - spicy not hot
sauce picant - spicy but not hot
jambalaya - spicy but not hot........I think you see where this is going

boiled crawfish....spicy AND HOT!

Basically to me seasoning is an art that takes time and practice to master and that peppers (used in dishes not intended to be HOT) can be used to ENHANCE the flavor, not overpower it.
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Old 04-20-2005, 04:44 PM   #16
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Yep, I agree with many of the opinions here. For me spicy means highly seasoned, not necessarily (but it can be) hot.

I make a couple of different kinds of jerk seasonings, one for those in my family who like the burn, and one for those who think black pepper is "hot". Both mixtures are spicy, with allspice, cloves, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, garlic, black pepper, thyme, et al. But for the "hot" version, I add either cayenne for a rub that I can store in the pantry, or when I can find them I will sometimes use fresh habaneros for a "hot and spicy" batch if I'm going to use it right away.
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Old 04-20-2005, 06:25 PM   #17
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What about spice cake?
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Old 04-20-2005, 07:26 PM   #18
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Well, spicy and hot are obviously not the same thing ... although something that is hot is probably also spicy.

Spices can either play a supporting role, or a predominent role, in the flavor of a dish. If the flavor is subtle, it's a supporting role. If it is very pronounced - it's "spicy". If the spice is also hot, then you've got "hot and spicey".

Originally Posted by jpmcgrew
What about spice cake?
Good example of being spicy, but not hot.
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Old 04-21-2005, 01:25 PM   #19
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I'm with jpmcgrew -- When people ask me the difference, I tell them cinnamon rolls and such can be spicy, as can a ham that has been baked with a lot of cloves in it, as is mulled wine & cider. They are generally not "hot" as in something with hot peppers in it. It's always stymies me when someone asks me if something they are about to try (say in a Thai restaurant, or at my house) is spicy. Usually I know the person and what they like and can respond appropriately, but sometimes I'll still get someone peeved at me because, "YOU told me this wasn't HOT!!!" When, in fact, they didn't ask me if it was hot, but if it was spicy. Plus, perceptions of heat vary so much for each person ... what I think has a little mild heat will burn some of my freinds. PLUS some people take it as an insult and just about act as if they were just stabbed if something has any heat at all. And let's not even go to the fact that you cannot predict how hot any pepper will be on any given plant from one day to the next. Now when someone asks me that open pit of a question, if I don't know them really, really well, I just say something noncommittal like, "It tastes just a little hot to me, but then I like hot food."
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Old 04-21-2005, 04:26 PM   #20
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I agree with Chocolate Chef. Anything well seasoned is spicy. Spicy foods include anything cooked with herbs or spices that are used to alter or enhance, or even hide the flavor of a basic food. However, salt is a seasoning but doesn't strictly fall into the definition for either an herb or spice. It is a flavoring, as is vanilla, lemon, etc.

Traditionally, spices are made from seeds, though cinamon is a spice and comes in stick form. Herbs are usually parts of the plant, i.e. the leaves. Peppers are usually categorized as a spice.

Sicy foods range widely, everything from sweet potatoes mashed with brown-sugar and cinamon, to a great eggnog, spiced with nutmeg, to a rich pasta sauce.

Hot things are those that create the sensation of warmth, heat, or even pain, usually caused by capsaicin (sp). As was stated earlier, most hot foods are spicy, but not all spicey foods are hot. Pumpkin pie is another example of a spicy, but not hot food. It contains a significant amount of ginger, allspice, cinamon, and cloves in its flavor makeup. It is not at all hot.

A hot, tomato based salsa on the other hand can be both spicy and hot. It may contain pungeant and sweet paprika, coriander, or cilantro, garlic, onion, and will have hot peppers in it as well. The first 5 ingredients will give it flavor, while the last will give both flavor and heat.

I hope this helps.

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