Hot or Not?
Much food served in Mexico is not “Mexican.” Eating habits, as most other customs, depend upon social class. Upwardly mobile Mexicans typically shun the corn-based indígena fare in favor of the European-style food of the Spanish colonial elite: chops, steaks, cutlets, fish, clams, omelettes, soups, pasta, rice, and potatoes.
Such fare is often as bland as Des Moines on a summer Sunday afternoon. No picante—not spicy—is how the Mexicans describe bland food. Caliente, the Spanish adjective for “hot” (as in hot water), does not, in contrast to English usage, imply spicy, or picante.
© Bruce Whipperman from Moon Puerto Vallarta, 7th edition