Words we (would) love: a word to solve the question ‘heat hot or spicy hot?’
By Katie Crosta, Account Director
Picture this: you’ve just sat down to a meal with friends and dinner is being dished up. Paul takes a bite. “Wow, that’s hot,” he exclaims. “Spicy hot or heat hot?”, I ask – as I’ve asked a thousand times.
Seriously, if I’d kept track of the number of times I’ve required clarification of the type of hot something is, I could have a lovely graph to show here.
Here we are again, this time I’m queuing for burritos and the person in front of me asks the server “How hot are these?”. Another back and forth discussing the number of chilis/ amount of spices/ length of heating required.
So much time wasted, all those little moments spent trying to communicate such a simple thing. Not to mention the fact that something can be spicy, while at the same time not being hot!
Do we need two separate words, one that describes chili heat and one for temperature? Should we go back to prefacing hot with ‘piping’ to avoid this needless charade? What happens when something is spicy, but doesn’t have a chili kick?
I don’t have the answer, but I’ve thought about it a lot.