Welcome to India

This blog is intended to make a country that most Westerners find to be otherworldly not so much so. We enjoy sharing our experiences, noting our observations, highlighting our impressions and otherwise recounting our adventures in India while helping our blogwatchers to be vicariously closer to this grand country. Welcome to India.

Monday, June 15, 2015

The Hottest Food on the Planet. Literally.

Because "SPICY" would take too many chilis to spell out.

Five years in, this picture still makes Sean's mouth water.

Just your average daily intake of essential vitamins and minerals 
in this part of India.

As much fun as it would be, we do not cower 
to the $12-per-box imported prices.

What we usually dream of when we're in India is Santa Barbara's hometown favorite pizza joint, Rusty's.  This picture is quite hard to look at, actually...

Hosting teams from the States (and occasionally Europe) is one of the privileges of our role here on the ground in India.  Bridging the cultural gap between the West and India for these teams of visitors can take on all kinds of twists and turns, but one cross-cultural adventure is unavoidable and actually quite necessary (and entertaining).

Spicy food.

We do our best to prepare visitors for the spicy side of India, but when it comes to the food, there is only “preparing” in the form of pre-emptive defending - "We told you."  There is no proper exercise for readying to face the heat of India’s spicy food.

That is, southern Indian spicy food.  As in most countries, those northerners are just so bland.

We love to tell teams the following logical breakdown , and we think it might even be true:

India is generally known to have the spiciest food in the world, usually in the form of its chili-soaked curries.  Agreed?

Well, within India, Andhra Pradesh – where the majority of CCH homes are located – is known as the state of India with the spiciest food in the country.

And finally, within Andhra Pradesh, most people here agree that the area with the hottest, spiciest food is towards “Rayalaseema,” the southeast area of the state, right near Ongole, the city we used to live in and usually send our visiting teams.

Perhaps the top of the worldwide mountain for spicy, hot food is not only this country, this state, but this region of the state.

Burn, baby, burn.

Personally, Sean embraces the spice, though it often still draws tears and occasionally – as recently as Saturday – some dizziness.  Ten minutes of cool down and the world is back to normal.

Paige?  Well, let’s just say living in Hyderabad with more access to Western food has helped her sneak by during our time in India… 

Enriching, heat-inducing cultural exchanges.  It’s all part of the fun in India. 

Wanna come try it?

(For the record, any chance we get to share American-style food with our Indian staff and pastors here, the response is always one of disgust.)