It's said that "variety is the spice of life."  While that's true, I feel like spice is the spice of life; spicy food, that is!

I'm a huge fan of spicy food.  Have been for years.  I suppose when you grow up with a dad who would literally carry a jar of cayenne pepper around in his pocket, it's hard to avoid an affinity for the spicy stuff.  And, for the most part, I can satisfy my capsaicin cravings at lots of spots around northern Colorado.  But a lot of people I run into can't stand spicy.  To be honest, sometimes I find that frustrating.

Don't get me wrong, I understand that everyone has their own tastes, and not everyone likes spicy food.  What bugs me, though, is when I see someone order something at a restaurant that's clearly labeled as "spicy" on the menu, only to complain later that it's too spicy!  If you don't like spicy food, why did you order spicy food??

So what inevitably happens is, in an effort to make its customers happy, the restaurant in question tones down its spiciness; not just for that one customer, but for everyone.  This is where my frustration comes in.  Too many times do I order supposedly "spicy" food off a menu, only to be presented with something that's anything but (sometimes it's even downright bland).  Thanks a lot, Mr. "I-like-it-spicy-but-not-THAT-spicy!"  You've just ruined this restaurant for me and all other lovers of that sweet, sweet burn.

It has occurred to me, though, that perhaps more than a decade of consuming so much spicy food has desensitized my palate.  Maybe what's bland to me is perfectly seasoned for someone else.  For that reason, I tend not to make too much of a fuss about it.

I'm still curious, though: On a scale of one to ten, how spicy do you like your food?  Let me know in the comments.

Maybe I'm just more of a culinary minority than I think I am... :)