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Thursday, December 20, 2007

Clitoris Delight

I am very fortunate to have caring friends who think of me when they prepare or lay hands on hard-to-find exotic delicacies. From Saeen, Abu Issa reserves a gallon of home-produced Arak especially for me. From the mountains of the Kadmous region, my friend Abu Nour brings me a 2K bag of mature delicious Shanklish. All the way from Australia, Abu Abdo Al Australi sent me a few years back some of the hottest Chile seeds on the planet. I planted them in my garden in Bmalke and they thrived for a couple of years. I was too negligent to amass my own reserve of seeds to keep the bounty going. When he learned about my failing, he thought along the line that it is better to teach a poor man how to cast a line instead of giving him a fish so he dispatched a video tape of his beautiful garden in Melbourne and instructions on how to prepare the best home-made hot pepper paste from down-under. I bought 8 kilos of green and red peppers then and transformed our kitchen into a small Tabasco factory. I became very popular in the neighborhood but they hated me at home where everyone, including myself, suffered a fit of sneezing and itchy eyes that lasted a few days.


Very recently, we were invited at Om Mahmoud’s house for dinner. After sampling her delicious entrees, she went into the kitchen and brought back a small white bag. “This is for you”, she said, “my brother-in-law has them growing in a corner at his orange grove. I picked them with my own hands. They are sooo hooot, so you’d better be careful.” Like a little kid opening up Christmas presents, I looked inside the bag with anticipation. There they were, green and red in the spirit of the season and varying in size from 1 to 1.5”, a small bunch of Cayenne peppers awaited my caressing fingers.

But wait a minute; let’s not get ahead of ourselves by calling them “Cayenne”. Peppers in general are not native to the Levant and as such the different varieties were introduced at various times over the course of history and successfully cultivated. One particular genus characterized by its uniquely elongated shape, relatively small size, acutely hot tang is called in Tartous and possibly in other Levantine cities, Zanbour Al-Set = The Lady’s Clitoris. It could be equally argued that Tartoussis are either awfully vulgar or unequivocally savant to give such a name to a pepper. Yet it’s unmistakably a part of our folklore and needs not be obscured or shunned at.



For the purpose of this article I carried out a little online research and found a few sites dedicated entirely to peppers and Chile. They are listed toward the end and I can assure you that you will find them very enjoyable to browse if you were like me, that is if you take pleasure in the Hot & Spicy side of gastronomy. From these sites, and after looking at dozens of photos, I learned that the “LAOTIAN - hot; Cayenne Type; 1.5 to 2 inches long by 0.25 to 0.375 inches wide; thin flesh; matures from green to red; upright pods become pendant; green leaves; 12 to 18 inches tall; Mid Season; Uses: Oriental Cuisine; from Laos; C.annuum” is the closest thing to our Zanbour Al-Set.

So I returned home with my little treasure in hand, a small bag filled with colored clitorides (that is plural of clitoris for the uninitiated in Latin). I was only certain of two things, such little gems need to be oiled perfectly and treated gently. Luckily, I had faultless virgin olive oil from the Qualaat Al Khawabi Village. I was only missing proper glassware.



I went down to Sile, my favorite watering hole in Tartous, and considered my bottle collection. I couldn’t quite climax to that Eureka feeling but instead was convinced that I have to throw away a whole bunch of empty bottles. So I considered my next best option and drove to the Free Shop located inside the port of Tartous. There, amid hundreds of strikingly nice-looking bottles, I came across a Wyborowa Vodka bottle, product of Poland. The glasswork is a masterpiece and there is no way on earth the liquid inside could be less exquisite. Despite the somehow steep price tag, I bought it and headed home, calling a couple of friends along the way to share it with. We did so until deep in the night. I bid them farewell and could only think of the clitorides waiting for me in the kitchen, of all places.



Have I already mentioned the point behind this article? I guess not. Well, it’s really about how to preserve Cayenne/Jalapeño/Chile peppers in olive oil to make the "Ultimate Hot Olive Oil". Since the process is so easy and straight forward the least I could do is write more than a few simple lines after such a long absence away from my blog, hence this moronic post. As a matter of fact, if you just follow the pictures you’ve got it made but I’ll details the steps and ingredients anyway.


Ingredients:

-One good-looking bottle of Vodka: Consume it 12 hours ahead with friends and don’t throw away the bottle. Remember that you bought it and drank it because you needed the empty glassware.
-Two handfuls of hot, eager and colored Laotian Cayenne peppers.
-Olive oil - enough to fill the bottle. I recommend the highest quality olive oil you can find.

Steps:

1- Remove the stems of the peppers, wash them with running water and dry them out completely with tissue papers.
2- Place inside washed and dried Vodka bottle – Do not touch your eyes in the process.
3- Pour the oil slowly until bottle is filled – Cover but do not tighten until next day so that trapped air is released.
4- Tighten cover and forget about the whole thing for at least 3 months.

For the next 2 years (minimum) you will be able to add taste and zest to any and all of your recipes. A few drops of this magical elixir and you’ll morph a dull meal into a most exciting entrée. Whenever the oil level drops, just replenish with more. Depending on how hot the peppers were when you started you might never notice the difference. Every once in a while, treat yourself to a few peppers. They taste out of this world.

You still can’t figure out what to do with the Hot Olive Oil!!! Well let’s see. Pizza, Labneh, Hommos, Fried Eggs, Omelettes, Soups, Salads, Meats, Fish, Poultry, etc. Where Tabasco goes, your Home-Made Hot Olive Oil is certainly a much better choice.

* Due to some controversy arising in the comment section as to which pepper is the hottest, I have added the famous Scoville Scale for the reader's reference.



(Click to Enlarge)

Chile-Head:http://www.g6csy.net/chile/var-a.html
Peppers Complete Guide: http://www.backyardgardener.com/veg/greenpeppers.html
Great to order on-line: http://www.chileplants.com/
Scoville Scale: http://ushotstuff.com/Heat.Scale.htm

58 comments:

Yazan said...

For health reasons [and lets not elaborate on that!] I can not really enjoy the delicacies of spicy food, although I sometimes revolt on myself and treat myself to one of these triple hot indian curry with chile!

Great post abu fares, felful el-3eed! :)

DUBAI JAZZ said...

Well Abu Fares, the peppers look lovely. But you know, they are like "betaklon belhana we......etc....."..And then there are the piles to deal with..
Which may allow me to amend the famous quote a little bit: "why everything I like is either immoral, illegal, or a pain in the ass?"
or as Kaya has suggested once : Weapons of A$$ Destruction.

Zena said...

eh, u took me several years back.
My aunt used to make this for us in Tartous along with the best green olives u can taste (green oilives, lemon juice, lemon chunks, thyme and olive oil). oh god that was good.

eh, well Sahten ya Abu Fares.

saint said...

I thought first what clitoris in god’s name to do with hot paper. When you mentioned Zanbour Al-set, I right away remember this funny name and returned beautiful images of Falk language to mind. However, I hope you explain to me why this naming, and what is mean. I thought of it for while as Al-set means the lady from high end of the society not any set?, Is this true?
Thanks for the post, it is wonderful as usual, even in my gastronomy I do not dare to eat or touch those types of clitoris nowadays.

Rime said...

Hot and eager peppers? LOL! I loved the scattered inuendos throughout this post! You've got a gift Abufares, and I don't just mean the food bit. Wonderful writing, as always.

Abu Kareem said...

Ya Abu Fares, you were meticulous enough to give the size of the different peppers. Are we to conclude that size matters...to the hotness of the pepper I mean?

abufares said...

@ Yazan
You can control the amount of hot olive oil in such a way that you might be able to minimize the consequences while enhancing the taste of any plate.
Kol 3am Wa Anta Bi Kheir

abufares said...

@ DJ
No pain, no gain.
Well in this case the gain comes first then you deal with the pain "in the ass of all places".

abufares said...

@ Zena
Ahlen bi Bint al Balad
You should drop by more often.
We Tartoussis are indeed masters when it comes to olive oil and olives. Just a case in point our Wounded Olives زيتون مجرح is a masterpiece.
We're not that bad either in handling clit... I mean hot Chile peppers :-)

abufares said...

@ Saint
In the early 1900s there was a very poor couple working for a rich family. The woman worked as a housemaid and the man was the gardner.
On a stormy night, while sitting in their small one-room cottage and having dinner together by candle light, the wife, and her name was "Latifa" burst out laughing. Her husband "Hasan" wondered what in the hell was wrong with her and she told him, amid tears, that the little Chile pepper he was holding in his hand looked exactly like the "Zanbour Al Set" (the lady's clitoris). To this, Hasan replied, of course without thinking: "and it sure tastes like it as well."
The evening ended in tragedy, but the name became folklore.

Omar said...

I enjoyed this post over two fresh kousayat ma7sheyat, drenched with tomato soup. All I was missing is a little clitoris to spice things up a bit.

I think I might go for yet another kosaye

abufares said...

@ Rime
The subject matter itself, the parallels (read my comment above to Saint)dictates a certain degree of inherent naughtiness.
You know I'm not like that IRL :-)

abufares said...

@ Abu Kareem
Being a doctor, you should know perfectly that size indeed matters.

In the case of ... Chile Peppers, the smaller the hotter, of course.

abufares said...

@ Omar
Sahha wa Hana
You're probably missing one of the most important ingredients of a "happy meal".

KJ said...

Oh man, it is a sad thing that my ass is sensitive to the clitoris, LoL!

I remember once in Safita I was stuffing the peppers in some bottle and I rubbed my eyes because they itched. It is a good thing I didn't get blind!

Thanks for the "recipe" though, I guess I can make it but instead of peppers I can put other things like garlic and bay leaves

Ammoontie said...

What a name ... but that chilli is really hot. I have them in my garden.
You can find it in most thai dishes, they are practically swimming in all the tom yam soup.
In Malaysia, we call it 'chili padi'. We use it in cooking and making sambal. And we pickled them in vinegar, or together with some young ginger. Lovely as condiment.

annie said...

When I saw the title I gasped; what ? Are we going porn in Syria of all places ?
Then why did I open the post ? Hein ?

Your post is delightfully written as usual.
Brought back mexican memories.
I had been so proud for having eaten a whole chili pepper and having resisted its burn, only to be told that this was the mildest of them all.

Az3ar's Fan said...

You are the best ad for Syria. Can you tell that to the blocker?

abufares said...

@ KJ
No KJ! Instead of Hot Peppers use Mild Peppers that's all. I mean use whatever your stomach or ass can handle then get going.

abufares said...

@ ammoontie
Romantic isn't it, the name I mean.
We practically do the same things you've mentioned with our Chili Padi. However, being fanatically obsessed with olive oil, I among others in Tartous love it as told.
You should give it a try and tell us about it.

abufares said...

@ annie
There's a very thin line between good sex and good food. As a matter of fact, at times, there's no line at all. That explains why we enjoy having one after the other, in whichever sequence, actually simultaneoulsy every once in a while.
You, my dear Annie, have brought back some wonderful Mexican memories and thank you for that ;-)

abufares said...

@ az3ar's fan
You know the trucks with the adds in back, the rotating ones, I mean. Well, you made me feel like one. Yet, I thank you so much for what you think of me, or more precisely of my humble posts.
I'm glad you're enjoying the read.

saint said...

Thanks for clarification Abu Fares,
So, my hunch and the way I understand when I heard it a long time ago was right. The name has that class trashing connotation by exposing the lady thingy, or kind of humor degradation to the upper class by mentioning their private parts, and still alive in the market. But the best thing about Zanboor Al-set name is the humor side which lived for ever.

The Syrian Brit said...

Abu Fares,
Your faithful readers will remember a post that you wrote a while ago, about a previous post that had received the highest number of hits amongst all your posts, simply because it contained a reference to a 'smooth ass'..
How long do you think it will take this post to overtake that one, in terms of number of hits?..
My guess: A few hours!..
As for the subject matter, I already have a bottle of home-made hot olive oil, 'brewed' in the same way you describe, and tastes as heavenly as I have ever dreamt.. even if the glassware is not as exotic!..
Thanks for a delightfully 'hot' read..

abufares said...

@ Saint
What would a civilization be without a sense of humor!

abufares said...

@ SB
You're right. The casual internet user is more interested in asses and cunts than in science and literature.
A fact of life!?
You made my day when I learned that you are already a step ahead of us all with your own bottle of home-made "Clitoris Delight". Way to go!

Anonymous said...

It would be a shame-on-me if I do not comment on this post, after all you mentioned my name at the very start!

As you know, I "respect" every one who "respects" chillies, all kinds all forms. Every year I plant at least 10 different chili plants. I eat quite a lot of them, but I enjoy even more giving to people who I know will look after them and enjoy eating them. There is another kind you should look out for, they are called "HABANERO". Once I read something to the meaning of, if the hotness of chilies is measured in units, all brands will, let's say, be 100 to 500 units, but the Habanero chillies will measure about 20,000. I do have about four plants at the moment, but will have to wait another month or more to start eating. I promise to send you some when I have a chance.

P.S. what a mix (Clitoris and "virgin" olive oil).

Enjoyed your post as always.

Abu Abdo

Ascribo said...

Oh man! This is really Delight. I used to fear from the hot feeling of it, but the first time I tried it, man, it's so good. Especially the one's in Olive Oil. I have now a small bottle of small Hot Chillis, that I consume at only special occasions.

As Abo Abdo said, the very extreme ones are the Habanero...I'm still waiting to trying these little Evils. I have from one friend that they make you feel so high as if you had a bolus of IV morphine...

Actually there's a scientific reason for all this. The brain has a kind of Endogenous opioid that is part of the pain supressor system. Endorphin is an opioid about 100 times more potent that morphine. This is one of the reasons behind the "runner high". There a special substance in chilli peppers called Capsaicin, and it has been shown to stimulate endorphin release. That is why you feel so high after eating Chillis.

annie said...

About feeling high... Can someone explain why I get a ten minute very high high when I "drink" arguilé? The toufahtein sort or even the nana?

abufares said...

@ Abu Abdo
I knew you'd soon show up. After all this is your field of specialty.
I have added the Scoville Scale to the post just to show you that there are still hotter stuff than the Habanero, although not much.
I'm waiting for the seeds and the instructions :-)

abufares said...

@ Ascribo
I look forward this post causing controversy between doctors (who am I kidding...) yet what you wrote and explained, is that good or bad for humans. I know that my gut feeling is that peppers are very good to eat. I doubt if any doctor can change my mind.

abufares said...

@ Annie
At least 3 doctors have already commented on this post. I hope one of them handle your question cause you wouldn't want to hear an explanation from me ;-)

Ascribo said...

Well, there's too points when it comes to health issues. Brain and Stomach.

Raising your Endorphin is not bad at all. This is part of the brain way to reduce what it thinks as "pain" coming from your mouth. so it secretes this Endorphin that supresses your pain, and, in the same time, make you feel so good. This cannot be harmful if you think that this is the same thing that makes athelets feel so good about themselves. See THIS on Endorphin and also on Wikipedia

The bad part is the effect on Stomach (and the rest of your tract!). Because it acts like an irritant, all kinds of spicy food seems to be associated with increased levels of gastritis. So if you have a really bad ulcer disease, you have to choose between eating spicy food and feeling bad or not eating it and feeling sad!

DUBAI JAZZ said...

Ascribo, thanks for the info pal, much appreciated.
Isn't Endorphin also called "Happiness Hormone"? I think I once read that it also gets released by moderate physical exercise...
Thanks Doc!

Ascribo said...

Oh, about Argileh, I think it is more associated with the Dopamine system (the "Reinforcement" or pleasure system) but also Endorphin has a little role to play. Check Wiki for more information...

Ramm from Scotland said...

Annie
About the Argileh thingy, the Toufahtin Mouesal contains Yanson which is the main ingridient for Araq!!

AbuFrares,
This post is great, I have been enjoying reading your blog for longtime but I have never commented.. Your blog is one of the few regular sites I visit each day!!
The current post and all the previous one are great. You write on a different level manl!! Keep up the good work.

Thank You

Another Tartous lover

lapa said...

Very Hot. Boas Festas.

Portugal

david santos said...

Hello, Bufares,
nice posting, thank you.

abufares said...

@ ramm from scotland
You're most welcome man. Especially since you are a self-proclaimed Tartous Lover.
Drop by anytime, me casa tu casa.

abufares said...

@ Lapa
Feliz Natal.
Queira voltar!

abufares said...

@ David Santos
Alegres natal e feliz ano novo.
Deus abençoe você

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the scale Abu Fares and of course thanks for your call yesterday! The thing is now, (with the scale), I won't be able to rest until I get seeds for the ultimate chili, the Naga Jolokia. As a matter of fact, while writing this comment, I switched to the link you put and ordered 100 seeds, but I would have to resolve the payment issue. They only accept cash or money order? A bit tricky when I am in the land of downunder. But, I am sure we'll work out something.

Abu Abdo

Shannon said...

This is so awesome. I tried growing Serrano and Jalapeno (I absolutely love chiles!) last year, but when the temperature reached 125f they died. I will try again, and hopefully, this time next year, I will have some spicy olive oil.

If only I could get a hold of those clitorides...that would really impress my friends. Time to scour the markets in town for some cayennes. :)

Happy Holidays to you and your family!

Highlander said...

I missed this very hot post ( pun intended :P)

A belated Eid Mabrouk ya Abufares and I never knew that Zanbour meant clitoris is that in Syrian or in Arabic as well ?

abufares said...

@ Shannon
I remember when I was back in the US that cayennes were readily available in many supermarkets.
Good luck with your quest, and may "they" float happily in virgin oil.

abufares said...

@ Highlander
Eid Mubarak to you too.
"Zanbour" is a slang word meaning what it means in the Levant and possibly other places in the Arab world. However, I'm not sure and it might have a different meaning elsewhere.

CresceNet said...

Gostei muito desse post e seu blog é muito interessante, vou passar por aqui sempre =) Depois dá uma passada lá no meu site, que é sobre o CresceNet, espero que goste. O endereço dele é http://www.provedorcrescenet.com . Um abraço.

bint battuta said...

I was a little late to the table - but I've enjoyed the feast! Hot stuff, indeed!

abufares said...

@ crescenet
Thank you

abufares said...

@ bint battuta
Whenever you drop by, you're always welcome.
Happy New Year

kaya said...

A post after my own heart. I am the HUGEST fan of chillis, and god knows it doesnt do my ulcers any good.
My favourite has to be Scotch Bonnet for that fruit tangy taste.
I make my flavoured oil by frying dry red chillish and then pouring the oil and chillis into a bottle. Never tried it fresh. Must give it a go.
Wicked name that.
CHI CHI!

abufares said...

@ Kaya
Please tell me how you prepare your fried red chillies oil. We all need to know.

kaya said...

Next time leave a message on my blog, i may in some century respond on time.
Heres the thing with dry red chillies.
We tend to fry dry red chillis to add to certain foods, whole or crushed, and to temper "daal"with.

If you have a favourite, let them ripen and dry in the sun.
Once dry they store for a long time.
To make flavoured oil,in a kadhaii (wok) add oil and heat it, add the dry chillies to the oil and fry them till they darken.
Allow oil to cool, and pour into bottle with chillies, which will eventually settle in the bottom. Leaving you with a wicked flavoured oil, with a nutty hot flavour.
I do the same with garlic as well, and add the oil to "raita". (A dip made with grated cucumbers,and mint. lovely with BBQ or biryani).

abufares said...

@Kaya
Thanks for the recipe. I'll roll my sleeves and get at it at the first opportunity.

Abu Steif said...

I hope that you have some saved for me because I want to have a taste this summer. If not you better start replenishing your stock and may be a special bottle for me to bring back to the states.

Nitrous said...

You rock! I just completed my first bottle of Pepper oil...cant wait til my 3 months are up ;)

I'm seriously thinking of making Corn bread with this oil and dipping on the side....

abufares said...

@Nitrous
So happy you dropped by this post after all this time.
I have one bit of good news for you. From experience I've learned that you don't have to wait for 3 months. You're ready to rock n roll after one month only.
Enjoy it...
Nothing ever beats a hot clitoris :-)

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