Upgrade U: Feel the burn

January 15, 2018


I went to Germany to visit my birth town and see where my parents lived for a decade before they moved to Australia. Little did I know I'd be meeting the origin of my chilli trees there too. Maybe don’t tell border patrol that. My German Uncle’s chillies are all over Brisbane and who knows where else it has migrated. German Uncle is the coolest as you can see from the photo. He rules.

When I was little, I avoided chilli like the plague. I was the wuss at the dinner table who needed to have my own spice and fun free dipping sauce, while the siblings had a medium hot sauce and Dad Pham had eyebrow singing chilli sauce. My, how the tables have turned.

Dad can no longer stomach hot chilli - he can have it mild. Siblings are still in the middle ground but these days I chomp through hot chilli like I don't need my stomach lining in tact. I'll each chilli with nearly every savoury meal in different forms - fresh, minced, paste, pickled, and sometimes combined with sriracha or other hot sauces 'cause I like to feel the burn. It's a combination of the flavour and the spiciness that I love. The trouble is, the more I eat the less I feel the burn so I up the quantity. When it starts upsetting my belly, I take a little break so my body can reset then I start out with a little spice and build back up again. It's a happy cycle.

When we first moved into the house Dad Pham said I'd be rubbish at keeping chilli trees and make a mess of the yard. But I think he got tired of me stripping his chilli trees bare every time I visited on the weekend, so when his old plant started to die, he split its seedlings into 5 smaller trees - one went to B at work, two stayed with Dad and two came home with me. After nearly a year they're finally growing a handful of chillies and boy-o am I excited for when they're in full bloom. Right now, I have to pace myself and have been scavenging chillies from Dad, B, and Uncle T. Crazy to think, these babies originated in Germany like me!


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