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millz58

Chinese New Year & Peri-Peri

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Well, I missed the first half of SB while visiting the District with my wife and daughter for the Chinese Lunar New year celebration, 'year of the rabbit'. Local chinese-american dignataries, the Mayor of DC, some councilmen and other officials present. Nice celebration, a parade, various local youth troupes doing the dragon dances, also some local HS bands (Anacostia, others) lending their drum corps to the proceedings through chinatown down to 6th and H street. Politicians offered the normal declarations, proclamations, etc. . The 'native' chinese speakers talked in Mandarin, then Cantonese, then English to translate. Firecrackers and dragon dancers occurred later, and packed-up people got heated and nervous at the human congestion, causing small-scale near riots as people tried to push past each other, shouting expletives and even endangering youngsters by pushing/stomping around without regard to who was unable to physically deal with the pulsing throng. To complicate matters, hundreds of testosterone-filled men sporting Ovechkin jerseys were spilling out from the nearby Verizon center after the caps 3-0 win over the Penguins, I saw one of them shouting at a guy to 'pick up your f***ing kid' when it was clear the adults were more concerned about getting through the crowd then whether they were trampling little ones who were only waiting to get picked up onto their parent's shoulders to watch the dragons dance in the street to the crackling of fireworks. Upsetting, my wife and I were clutching our daughter watching another young kid on the ground who had got stepped on, was crying and whose father was yelling at her for getting lost while other idiots were yelling at them for not getting out of the way... sorry to ramble, but we were at the Rally to Preserve fear/Restore Sanity in the fall with way many more people, and it was much busier for many more blocks and was nowhere near that hostile.

 

Regarding Peri-peri, we escaped the stupidity of that throng and settled on Nando's Peri-Peri restaurant, specializing in chicken dishes in Mozambique-style hot pepper (Peri-peri is apparently Swahili for what is called the Bird's eye chili pepper), and let me tell you, my body had a hives-rash all over it from the heat within an 8-hour period! crazy, but now I realize (at the age of 40) that I'm actually possibly allergic to some chiles, and the 'birds eye' chile pepper known for the Peri-peri style of Nando's happens to break me. I've had the vindaloos and other hot dishes at Indian, Thai and indonesian places, but I've never had a full-body reaction like after eating this African chile-pepper concoction. I had to go to the patient first and get anti-histamines and steroid-based meds! It's calming down now, but not gone by any means...

 

The food at the restaurant was awesome BTW, great veggie preps and the chicken was fresh and tasty, and that restaurant of one of only a couple in the US I think, the other being in or near Annapolis mall. Great to experience, unless you're too thin-skinned for hot food like me I guess.

 

Has any other person some experience with either the chinese lunar year parade or the peri-peri cuisine? I'm feeling itchy and isolated...

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P.S. there was also an overarching and blatant reference to the Taiwan bicentennial, and so the US and Taiwanese flags were strung together alternating throughout the blocks and several mentions were made by the presenting politicians about the comparative lack of freedom Taiwan enjoys.

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I have never had Peri Peri cuisine before but it sounds good. When I worked in Burtonsville there was an authenticish Hunan place near my office. A few times I got different dishes from them and right afterwards my lips would swell up. They would be sore and itch a little bit but other than that nothing would happen. Within an hour all was normal. I am assuming that was some type of pepper. I liked the food so much I'd put up with it every few weeks.

 

Often on NFL Sundays I'll pick up subs for the game and the place near me puts something in its chicken and shrimp salad that makes my mouth itch for the first few bites. Its not enough to bother me.

 

Its scary how bad it got you. My wife has all kinds of food allergies, mainly fresh fruit and veggies that will either make her itch or if bad enough constrict her airway where she needs meds fast. If cooked she can eat most of them. Odd huh? Most docs think its a problem with pollen in them but they are not sure.

 

Hope you get better fast!

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Epi-Pen

I didn't have any kind of internal inflammation or localized swelling around the mouth or throat, no breathing problems, just serious epidermal irritation. We carry an epi for our daughter who has nut allergies, so we would've been okay if it really got to that point, but it wasn't that type of reaction. Just the peppers trying to work their way out through my skin I guess. But I've never had any reaction even remotely that bad from foods before.

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Hope you get better fast!

Thanks Spen, I did, I was fine this morning, totally clear, after even one round of the meds; I took the second round anyway today per Doc's orders, he said if I was okay I could drop the routine after another day.

 

The African bird's eye pepper (peri-peri) rates in the same class as the Habanero and Scottish bonnet peppers on the Scoville scale of piquance, according to the sources I've checked (around 100,000-350,000 heat units).

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The African bird's eye pepper (peri-peri) rates in the same class as the Habanero and Scottish bonnet peppers on the Scoville scale of piquance, according to the sources I've checked (around 100,000-350,000 heat units).

 

Just sounds painful, especially the day after...:)

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