R. Fleming: Is the food spicy or hot?


Webster’s Dictionary defines the adjective “spicy” as: “1: having the quality, flavor or fragrance of spice; 2: producing or abounding in spices.”

I really do wish that food manufacturers would learn the English language. Every food store now has many food products that are labeled as being “spicy,” when what they really mean is “hot” — which is quite deceptive.

Those foods are made hot by the addition of various forms of hot peppers and jalapenos. But there are hundreds of other types of spices that are not “hot,” but will, nevertheless, make foods quite “spicy.”

For thousands of years, ever since the very beginning of cooked foods, cooks have known that foods can be made “spicy” — and without being “hot.”

Far too many times, I have been fooled by foods falsely advertised as being merely “spicy.” I love them but, like millions of other older people, I can no longer eat them without paying a very unpleasant physical price.

When food products are made “hot,” they should be labeled with one of the three degrees of “mild,” “medium” and “hot,” just as they do with salsa and picante sauce.

Recently, I bought two egg rolls from the salad bar at a supermarket. The sign did not mention that they were either “spicy” or “hot.” I love egg rolls, but I didn’t even know that they made them hot.

They were very hot and delicious. However, be warned: for the next 24 hours, I took all phone calls in the throne room.

Roland Fleming, Auburn