This one's been bugging me for a while now and I have yet to think of a good solution.

We have one question tagged [spiciness], another tagged [hot], and a few more tagged [spices] even though they aren't really about "spices" per se (fresh chili peppers are not what I would call a spice).

The tag [hot] seems way too generic, and something about [spiciness] bugs me to no end - perhaps it's just the fact that it's so similar to [spices] and could easily become a point of confusion.

But I'm not sure what to put in its place. I'm talking about questions like How can you make a sauce less spicy/hot? I suppose, in technical terms, that such questions are pretty consistently talking about capsaicin, but I have to assume that the majority of people asking questions about it aren't going to know that.

So... is there a tag we can use to identify questions that are talking about "that" kind of spice/heat? Do we need one? Should we just lump it under [spices], or remove any spice-related tags altogether? Should we borrow from another language and use something like [picante] (sounds pretentious, but then again we have [umami] now)?

Any other ideas, thoughts, recommendations?

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  • The English equivalent of "picante" is "piquant" (pronounced PEE-kint). – nohat Jul 22 '10 at 16:34

I think [spicy-hot] is appropriately succinct and descriptive enough to cover those things that are, well, spicy hot. The other spicy is a little more difficult. Perhaps just a [spicy], [spice], or [spices] would suffice?

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  • For the other spicy, I think just [spices] is close enough. I kind of like this one; it's a little silly at first glance, but it'll pop up in the autocomplete for both [spicy] and [hot], so it'll be easy to find. – Aaronut Jul 22 '10 at 23:04
  • Yea, [spices] would be my preference as well. – hobodave Jul 22 '10 at 23:11

To my ear, "spicy" nearly always refers to heat from chili peppers. The effect of spices is to make a dish "spiced".

I don't really have a strong opinion about which words are used for tags, but I don't think there would be a lot of confusion if "spicy" or "spiciness" were used to refer to spicy-heat and "spice", "spices", or "spiced" were used to refer to spices. Of course, occasionally someone will err, but that's what retagging is for. I don't think there is some configuration that will eliminate the possibility of error or confusion. That is inherent in the ambiguity of the terms.

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Would it be a good solution to have the separate tags be "herbs and spices," as one tag and "hot 'n spicy" be another, replacing the current ones? ... or something like that?

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  • The problem with that is that people are still going to start typing "spic..." for either of those cases, and use the auto completion to just pick "spicy". – hobodave Jul 22 '10 at 20:35
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    @hobodave: Actually, the auto-completion is a full-text search, not a prefix search. Try typing "pic" and you'll see the spice tags come up. Then again, that doesn't guarantee people will actually choose the correct tag. – Aaronut Jul 22 '10 at 23:02
  • @Aaronaught: Learned something new :) – hobodave Jul 22 '10 at 23:10

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