Gaia, as a mother of 16 crazy, super-powered kids, was a HUGE organic health nut. You’ve heard that Zeus used mustard sauce to rescue his siblings from Cronus? Well, you’ve got Gaia’s culinary experience, or should I say in-experience, to thank for that. You see, Gaia loved to cook. She just wasn’t very good at it. Hermes actually started his career in thievery from sneaking off to the local bakery to get decent grub for the other 15 kids. So, most of her kids just pretended they “weren’t hungry” after telling Mama what an excellent meal she had prepared.

And all would have been fine and dandy, but, as always, there was an exception. The fiery Enceladus simply would not eat the second-rate chow. He was kicked out of the bulging household after severely wounding Gaia’s feelings by informing her that her cuisine was less than perfect. So, he went to cook for the equally temperamental war god, Ares. If there was one thing Enceladus had learned from umpteen years of tasteless food, it was to actually use some of the seasonings that lined the kitchen shelves. So, the chef-to-be used them with a vengeance. You know how they have those little holes on the top of spices to make sure you don’t accidentally use too much? Well, Enceladus disposed of those entirely, mixing stuff in by the handful! Luckily, Ares had a palate to match his fiery temper, and ate all of Enceladus’ meals heartily.

Although Enceladus spent the rest of his immortal life creating zesty dishes, and winning various honors, such as the Calde-cottage cheese honor and the Nobel Peas Prize, the story doesn’t end there. Just as Prometheus gave humans the gift of fire, Enceladus gave us something, too. He gave us the Spicy Mexican food we call the – you guessed it – the enchilada. So next time you’re wondering why anybody would make such an incredibly hot dish, think of the alternative: a world of Brussels sprouts and radishes!

Published June 1, 2012

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