Field Notes

How to Cool Down After a Hot Pepper

We've all been there. The love of the chili pepper can come with quite the afterburn! Whether it's the citrusy kiss of habanero in our Grove Blend Hot Sauce or the extra helping of jalapeño in our guac, the allure of the pepper always pulls us back! So, how do you cut the heat when the intensity gets too much? Here are some tips on how to lessen the burn.

Drink Milk

Got Milk? Maybe it's time you did! The active compound in pepper that causes a burning sensation is known as capsaicin. Casein found in milk neutralizes this compound, breaking down the molecules, so they're less potent.  

drinking milk

Drink whole milk if it's available. Fats absorb nutrients such as capsaicin. Consuming milk with a higher fat content will make this spicy compound less prevalent in your stinging mouth and belly. 

No milk? No problem! Anything dairy will do. Ice cream, yogurt, and if you're desperate, even a stick a butter can help in cutting down the burn. 

A Spoonful of Something Sweet

A spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down. It also makes the swelling in your mouth go down, too. 

All things sweet are made up of little crystallines. These crystals tend to absorb capsaicin partially. Plus, a little sweetness adds another complexity to your palette. By the time you're done putting out the fire, you may make your own hot sauce!

Eat Fluffy Foods

While casein will neutralize capsaicin and sugar molecules will absorb some of it,  fluffy foods create a barrier. Think of when you have a headache. All you want to do is wrap your head in you fluffy pillow. Pepper burn is like a headache for your mouth and bread is that fluffy pillow.

bread

Up the cooldown factor by throwing on some peanut butter. Peanut butter has healthy fats that will soak up the capsaicin. Plus, who doesn't love a good peanut butter sandwich? Just opt out of the Pepper Jelly this time, okay?

Not into bread? Other starchy foods like potatoes, rice, and pasta should also do the trick!

Creamy is Dreamy

For the carb-conscious, a loaf of bread or a bowl of pasta may not be the most viable option. Instead, go for something with a creamy texture like yogurt, avocados, or bananas. If you're not carb-counting, then by all means--have an avo toast!

Foods that become soft and smooth as you chew them will coat your mouth. Their creamy texture is like putting lotion on a rash. Sit for a moment to let the foods cool down your tongue before swallowing. 

Suck a Lemon

Sometimes the only way to cut heat is to bring acid into the picture. Grab something citrusy like a lemon or lime and chomp into it! 

While capsaicin is getting all the heat for bringing the heat, other capsaicinoids also cause these pain sensations. They bind onto our pain receptors, creating that little annoying reminder that we just ate something spicy. 

Many capsaicinoids are alkaline. Therefore, they change the temporarily change the pH balance of the area they're in. This change in environment is was causes the pain receptors to trigger our tingly mouth. 

Citrus fruits are highly acidic. This quality is ideal for bringing the pH balance back to what it was before eating the spicy food. 

Bring the Heat Home

No matter how you decide to handle the heat, don't drink too much water. Capcaisin is like an oil-base. Have you ever tried mixing oil and water? It's not going to happen. Therefore, you are just swallowing the heat all over again!

Now that you're fully equipped to stand the heat, why not dip your toes into the water? Make your own hot sauce with our Homemade Hot Sauce Kit. We deliver everything you need to craft, bottle, and enjoy two hot sauce blends in your own home!