Columns | Bad Kimchi

Burning Your Mouth to Spite Your Heart

I need something that is going to tingle, tell me the food is alive. Because I want to be alive, too.

This is,a column by Noah Cho about how food and cooking can inform our identities.

It’s not hot enough. I need to suffer.


In these moments, my pores push out sweat, my heart races, and I do not think about the other things weighing on my heart. I concentrate only on the next bite—not wanting to stop, addicted to the flames scorching the roof of my mouth. Sometimes I can even feel it in my teeth as I grit down, closing my eyes and letting myself simply feel.