In the culinary world, many people enjoy the sensation of a spicy dish. However, some individuals have difficulty handling spice in their food and need ways to manage it. If you need help handling spicy food, read on for helpful tips to ease you through your next fiery meal.
Counter Spice With an Acidic Drink
Capsaicin is the primary chemical in spicy foods, such as peppers, that causes a burning, tingling sensation in the mouth. Capsaicin acts as an irritant for mammals, and when we eat foods that contain it, our tongues get irritated. This irritation is the sensation we call attribute spice to.
Though this sensation feels very overpowering, acidic foods can cancel out the effects of capsaicin. Drinking something with an acidic taste will clear your mouth of spice, providing you with the relief you need to enjoy your spicy meal. Some acidic drinks include lemonade, orange juice, and milk. Have one of these refreshments ready to help you handle spicy cuisine.
Train Your Taste Buds With Mild Spices
Just like you can train your muscles to grow by increasing weight over time, you can train your taste buds to handle spice by turning up the heat over time. Practice eating mild spicy food to help your taste buds grow used to the sensation. Then, gradually increase the intensity of the spice in your meals. The tongue will adapt to the familiarity of spice just as it familiarized itself with bitter-tasting foods as you grew up.
However, you’ll need to start with mild spice when you start this process. Try incorporating mild peppers into your dishes, such as banana peppers, poblano peppers, and pimento peppers. For the finishing touches on a dish, consider drizzling mild hot sauce over your food, such as salsa verde or Siracha. And if you have the time, you can make and use shredded jerky as a garnish, gradually making it with more intense spices.
Have Something Sugary as a Side
The best side dish for a meal that lights your mouth on fire is one with plenty of sugar. Sugar doesn’t mitigate capsaicin like acid does, but it does balance out the sensations in your mouth.
This is because sugar and spice are opposite on the flavor spectrum. Eating a sugary side with a spicy meal will make it easier to handle spicy food. For example, a nice slice of cake or sweet applesauce will help cool your mouth. Honey is also excellent for coating the tongue with sugar to defend your taste buds. The oil-infused capsaicin of spicy foods will become absorbed into the honey, cooling your mouth down for quick relief.
While it may feel uncomfortable to eat spicy dishes, it’s fun to experience new recipes and flavors. Spicy food is a staple of the culinary world, so if you want to experience the taste of hot foods, these tips will help you. With enough time and patience, you’ll be enjoying super spicy meals and experiencing the full range of culinary delights.