Taking a cruise to Alaska was the top adventure on my “bucket list.” Little did I know, my most dangerous adventure would be making a dreadful mistake at the afternoon buffet.
I had just filled my plate with an assortment of veggies and was feeling righteous that I had not succumbed to the siren call of more fattening dishes. As I moved down the buffet line, I noticed what I thought was a bowl brimming with fresh, creamy, greener-than-green avocado.
I placed a whopping spoonful on the edge of my salad and moved on down the line to pick up other delights. The food on cruise ships — at least this one — was abundant, varied, and delicious.
I sat down to enjoy lunch while chatting with my traveling companion. I skewered some salad on my fork, dipped it into what I thought was avocado and stuffed it innocently into my mouth.
In a second, I felt the burning in my mouth and flaming fumes in my nose as it slowly burned its way through the insides of my cheeks and edged toward my throat. I unceremoniously chucked the burning food from my mouth into a napkin and thought about drinking some water.
I decided not to do that in case it would move the fire down my throat and into other delicate regions.
“What the h---“ just happened I rasped to my friend.
“ I think you just ate some wasabi,” she said.
“I thought it was avocado.”
“Did you see some sushi nearby? That should have given you a clue.”
“That stuff should be outlawed like mustard gas was in WWI,” I exclaimed hotly trying to resume my composure while eating a piece of bread to cool down the burn.
Wikipedia describes wasabi as a Japanese horseradish with an extremely strong flavor more akin to that of a hot mustard.
Tolerance for hot, spicy food is not part of my gene makeup. Although members of my family enjoy the fact that they break into a sweat when they eat salsa — I’ve always been an onlooker. I believe if we were meant to eat hot spicy food, then we would have been born with asbestos-covered tongues.