I like hot food. In high school, we liked to play D&D on the weekends, and during those games is when I built up my tolerance for hot things.

We would routinely have salsa and chips with our games. We started out with some mild salsa, found a liking for it, and eventually got hotter and hotter brands. At the time the best brand available was Chi-Chi’s Hot salsa. We ate it continuously.

Derek, one of the guys I played with, found some crazy brand of cheese-salsa that we moved on to. It was at least as hot as the Chi-Chi’s salsa, but cheese. We enjoyed that.

Then Allen showed up one week with something new. He has some Cheeze-Whiz and a jar of jalapeño relish. Jalapeño relish is exactly what it sounds like: Relish, but instead of pickles, jalapeño peppers. We heated the Cheeze Whiz in the microwave and mixed in the relish. That was some powerful hot cheese. But we ate it.

The next week, Allen returned with the relish, but no Cheeze Whiz. And of course, we ate it straight with chips. So began my long love affair with spicy food.

These days, I don’t get to eat as much hot food as I would like since the kids don’t like it. But I still enjoy a good salsa, and I hope that they eventually learn to enjoy it, too. The local grocery store contracts with some outfit to get fresh-made salsa in Gladware-like plastic containers. It’s probably the best salsa you can get around here without making it fresh. I just can’t do that tomato sauce stuff they sell in jars any more.

I am also fond of hot wings. I haven’t really tried the hottest hot wings around here. I admit to being somewhat out of practice and a tad in fear of “Homicide” wings. But I have tried the “Suicide”. They’re pretty hot.

I enjoy spicy Asian food. I’ve recently had Thai food from two different places that was not too spicy, but pretty good. I’ve had spicy Thai food locally, too, and enjoyed that.

We used to go to this Korean restaurant in Upper Darby to get their barbecue pork. It’s dangerous to go to a restaurant where the servers don’t speak your language, and the menu is all written in a different language, and you’re ordering spicy food. But it was still good.

We have a bottle of habañero sauce in the fridge. The label is black with a skull and crossbones on it. Every so often, when we remember, we’ll put a drop of it in a pot of spaghetti sauce. That’s good enough to kick the whole thing up to a smooth, delectable heat. Two drops - mouth on fire.