This was not a lesson I had to learn twice. My family and I used to go to a Turkish restaurant and the owner had a speciality desert. Pineapple soaked in Malibu with Chilli Powder sprinkled on top.
You can probably guess where this is going and in my defence the bit about Chilli Powder was written slightly smaller at the bottom of the card but admittedly I saw Pineapple soaked in Malibu and picked up four pieces. My friend and I sat down and she tried hers first, she didn’t really like it so she offered me her other two pieces.
At this point I’ve now eaten six pieces of this pineapple and I’m starting to feel the weirdest sensation in my mouth. I’m worried because I could be having a reaction but I can’t think of being allergic to either pineapple or Malibu as I’ve had both before. What could it be?
Slowly the sensation builds until it feels like my mouth is on fire. At this point I decide to get my Mum’s attention and so follows this conversation:
Me: Why do I feel like my mouth’s burning?
Mum: What’ve you eaten?
Me: Just six pieces of the pineapple…
Mum: Oh god! You know what was on that right?
Me: Yep, Malibu
Mum: …and Chilli Powder!!
I was mortified as I’d literally eaten it without realising what was on it until it was too late. Fortunately, no one else had noticed and I was able to literally wash it down with my drink. I felt ashamed because I didn’t look carefully and that could have been dangerous, especially with no sense of taste.
I avoid spicy foods where I can now so that I don’t have another situation like that. Again, it’s another story that I can look back on now and laugh but I warn you that the next story is highlighting a severe safety risk that needs to be taken very seriously and is my main inspiration for writing this article.