“It feels so good to hurt so bad.” Sharon Lippincott, a self-professed chilehead from childhood, invokes this mantra to explain her lifelong love affair with this mystical fruit, spelled to honor her New Mexican roots. In Adventures of a Chilehead, she takes readers on a mouth-searing journey through fifty years of increasingly challenging involvement with capsaicin, the heat-giving element in chile. As heat levels escalate, she strives to maintain a balance between the transcendent euphoria of heat-induced endorphins and serious pain in capsicum capers such as “Death by Salsa” and “Great Balls of Fire.” Much of her pleasure comes from preparing chile-based soul food, and she includes twenty-two richly detailed classic recipes that tell you how to adjust heat levels for any taste.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Sharon Lippincott has turned out to be one spicy tamale and her writing reflects this.
I enjoyed reading this short memoir/recipe book. There are a lot of laughs to be had as the author takes you on a multi-decade adventure through her experiences with all things spicy. I loved her narrator voice in this book and that she was not only recounting things she had learned, but reflecting on her life and what those experiences meant to her at the time they happened.
If you are another of the Chileheads who adore all things HOTT! Then this book will certainly appeal to you, not only for the great writing but for the chance to try out the many recipes at the end of the memoir.
I giggled as Sharon talked about her love of heat and her experiences with various types of chiles (E not I) and her inability to resist them.
This was a short, fun read with a lot to offer those who love to cook and love to turn up the heat in the kitchen. I would recommend this book to anyone who needs a laugh. Even if you prefer milder foods, this memoir has something for everyone.