Do you like spice? Sure I do!
Hell (pun intended), I eat the spicy, yellow mustard at the Chinese restaurants. You can feel the heat as it works its way through your sinus passages, like Draino clearing any blockages. I eat the hot salsa and put jalapenos on my salads and sandwiches. Depending on my mood, I even keep the seeds (where the heat is) in.
The point is, I can and do occasionally eat spicy foods. I make sure I have Cajan and jerk spices on hand at home so I can add a little spice to the meats and veggies I prepare. I eat HOT buffalo wings and sometimes choose the “Fire” sauce at Taco Bell.
So, for me, the correct response to, “Do you like spice?” when asked by an Indian is NO!
Now, there were people with me that thoroughly enjoyed the spice, but unless you really, really, really, like hot, hot, hot, you might want to be cautious if an Indian asks you, “Do you like spice?” The heat doesn’t resonate through your sinus passages like the Chinese mustard. Instead it stays on your tongue and in your throat.
Indian foods prepared in the North may not be quite as spicy as those from the South. According to my host, the North used dries spices, cashew oil and ghee ( a clarified butter), while the South uses fresh spices and coconut oil. The North also eats more meats and uses wheat, while the South eats more fish and chicken and uses rice as their main grain.
Maybe I’ll tell you about what came to be known as the “Delhi Belly” at a later time.