ForeWord Reviews

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Light the Fire-Fiery Food with a Light New Attitude

Foreword Review — Sept / Oct 1998

If your idea of good eating is food that makes you break a sweat and sets your tongue ablaze, then you will love Light the Fire-Fiery Food with a Light New Attitude, in which the bulk of the recipes include peppers and chiles. The book stresses that its offerings are salt-free and low in fat, and includes a broad spectrum of categories—appetizers, snacks, soups, breads, brunch dishes and desserts, most with three-alarm ingredients. The cookbook even has a drink recipe that includes hot pepper sauce.

This is one cookbook to keep handy to spice up ho-hum fare. Chicken breasts don’t generally raise anyone’s temperature, but might with the zing a jalapeno pepper jelly glaze would add to the meal.

Most recipes are fairly simple and limited to one page. Cooks not accustomed to using fiery ingredients, such as habanero pepper, will have to stock shelves. One of the book’s best features is a separate box of insider information listed at the bottom of some recipes. For example, one page includes the fact that people get “high” from eating chiles: “The nervous system reacts to the pain (from eating hot chiles) by releasing morphine-like endorphins. Endorphins create a sense of euphoria similar to the “runner’s high” that some people get from exercise. People who regularly eat chiles will find that they develop a tolerance to the heat and will have to eat increasingly hotter foods to get the high.”

This collection of recipes is inviting, yet the “fun,” scripty type used in the printing is often difficult to read. Be prepared for frequent references to Jim, the author’s husband, and a tad too many exclamation points.

Carol Hopkins