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Yes, overall, they are not as spicy but there are some pockets in USA, like Louisiana, where one can get food tinged with cajun or other spices. I remember going to Popeyes while driving from Michigan to Illinois and I was surprised with the spiciness of their fried chicken .
I would call that an "Englishman's Spaghetti Bolognese" -- it's downing in tomato souce. Consider this Wikipedia article instead.
And I was just poking gentle humor at the assumption that Continental cuisine implies Indian food. Reminds me of the old joke of the Englishman who tried to enter a building in Moscow, but was barred by the doorman who said "no foreigners allow". "I'm not a foreigner," he replied, "I'm British."
Indeed, I read the first post and my thought was "WTF, American food is, on the whole, spicier than European food!" I've never heard anyone call "Indian" something "Continental" before; I suspect no one besides Indians say that.
After eating in Mexican restaurants, I have realized that spicy food is not same as hot (or chilli laced) food i.e. although spices contain hot ingredients including chilies but spices != chillies.
One of my gujju (read vegan) friends often eats Veggie burrito from BurritoVille in Manhattan. I had the misfortune of eating it once. That thing was so freakishly hot that it actually burnt (as in chemical burn) my tongue so severly that for 4 months I couldn't eat anything crusty and anything with even a hint of chilli. I consulted 4 doctors and had several medications including allergy medications. Nothing worked. One doctor even suggested that I might have diabetes and had me do blood sugar test. The condition cleared up after 4 months on its own. For all that time I was on a sweet or bland diet.
Mind you that I am used to eating very hot (as in spicy) foods. While in Bangalore, I was a a fan of "Andhra style" (read HOT!!!) restaurants and never had any problem.
While doing some reading on the the chillies that they use, I found out that there are about 10 levels of hotness in chillis. Habanero chilli is the hottest one and Jalopeno (the one you see on pizza) is among the milder ones. I can tell you that Habanero is a killer. If you rub it on your hand a little bit, you will get a blister. That's how hot it is.
The problem here in US is that when they say spicy they mean levels of chilli which is basically just one spice. So you can pretty much say that there are no "spicy" foods in american restaurants, only chilli foods. Their repertoir of spices is basically 3 things: pepper, cinnamon, and chillies. They don't even know what spices really are.
Oh yes, the chinese takes out have one additional "spice" in their repeortoir of spices: Monosodium Glutamate (aka ajinomoto) [ March 31, 2006: Message edited by: Ram Bhakt ]
I've gotten the impression from comparative eating that "authentic" Mexican is often not very hot. Americanized Mexican or Tex-Mex can be, though the pepper sauces tend to be more flavorful than fiery.
Cajun can be pretty hot, too. I loved walking around New Orleans where the Tabasco smell just rolls out the open doors of the restaurants. I checked on the McIlhenny Company right away after Katrina. They're ok.
The most painfully hot food I've had was Chinese in NYC. It was overloaded with tiny peppers. I usually like them, but not in such numbers! Some Thai takeout somebody brought to the office at midnight ran a close second for hot.
Our office cafeteria brings in Indian food from a local restaurant a few times a month. The chick peas have a very nice burn. Yum.
So who has the blandest food? I had peas & carrots boiled to death with no salt and pepper in England once. Ok, every day.
A good question is never answered. It is not a bolt to be tightened into place but a seed to be planted and to bear more seed toward the hope of greening the landscape of the idea. John Ciardi
Originally posted by Ernest Friedman-Hill: Indeed, I read the first post and my thought was "WTF, American food is, on the whole, spicier than European food!" I've never heard anyone call "Indian" something "Continental" before; I suspect no one besides Indians say that.
I was also a bit confused - I'm used to the word "continental" being used to mean "European", because of the strange British tendency to forget that we're also part of Europe.
Goes to show the context is a large part of communication....
There will be glitches in my transition from being a saloon bar sage to a world statesman. - Tony Banks
Originally posted by Bhoooooo Yyempeti: In India, continental food refers to food from "the continent" i.e. Europe. (eg Lasagna, spag bol, pizza, all and sundry pasta all fall under "continental cuisine")
Just like Indian food in the UK is anglicised, the "continental" food in India is quite Indianised.
Ah, thanks for that. Now I understand the question.
Some delegates from US had come to india a few days back. They tried south indian food. They could not resist the hot and spicy nature of the food i think. They started sweting and thei eyes were filled with tears. :roll: :roll: