I'll just go ahead and say it: the whiter the people, the blander the food. Nowhere is that adage more apparent than in Denver. And although we have our merits -- you can't throw a stone without hitting a brewery -- we've definitely established a reputation as a town that lacks ethnic (and therefore culinary) diversity.
It’s true that, with the exception of our beloved green chile, the dining scene here was pretty much built on meat and potatoes. But that’s been changing for some time now. My question is, by how much? Enough to prove this city finally has an international-food scene worth exploring? I decided to find out, and my mission was clear: I’d set out to find spiciest dishes around town.
Here’s to brass balls, nerves of steel, and an iron stomach...
The boring and the neutral
There were some places I didn’t even bother to look -- in most Latin American restaurants, for instance. That may sound crazy considering South America’s the birthplace of the Capsicum genus (to use the scientific name for chile peppers), but the fact of the matter is they tend to play a supporting role in the continent’s food, appearing mainly as accents in salsas and other condiments. Peruvian cuisine’s the only exception, and a mild one at that. And the same goes for Central America. Don’t believe me? Here’s a regular lunch special at Los Parceros Restaurante, a Colombian kitchen on East Colfax.