Friday 16 November 2012

TV & Food: Spicy Hot Chili @ Man V. Food

Types of Chillies
Image from Carole's Chatter

Chili, my favourite!

I love hot and spicy food, I just cannot resist the stinging feeling and that slightly salty aftertaste. Spicy food helps relieve my headaches, sleepiness, increase my blood flow as if I have done a good amount of exercise, thus making me feel invigorated and smarter than usual!

But not everyone can take chilies as hot as I can, among the people I know, I am already the most tolerant to the hotness of chili. That doesn't mean I am good, it only means I have few friends.

For those of you who cannot tolerate spiciness, you might avoid eating it at together, but sometimes if you cannot, maybe because your friends love it and you must entertain them, you'll need a way to overcome that spiciness.

Some people say full-fat milk will help, some say water, others say beer, tequila, or even toothpaste, petroleum jelly and wasabi!! Too many of these suggestions and myths flowing around. So, actually, which is the best?

To find out, you need to know how much chilies and what kind of chili you are dealing with first -- "to win the war, it help to know your enemy".

And that, we'll  have to ask Adam Richman from Man v. Food!

From the video, we now learn that according to the degree of hotness, the chilis appeared in the show are ranked as follows:
  1. Jalapeño 
  2. Serrano Pepper
  3. Chile de árbol 
  4. Habenero 
Now we can move on to find out which method soothes spiciness the best! And Mythbusters have the answer.

From the video we learn that capsaicin from the chilies bonds with the capsaicin receptors on your tongue, and because the same receptors register heat, eating chilies will make you feel hot and burning!

Also, eating excessive among of chilies can kill because the lungs will shut down and the victim will die of suffocation.

Scoville scale is used to measure the degree of spicy heat of chili peppers, and the number of Scoville heat units (SHU) indicates the amount of capsaicin present.

Image from The Pepper Seed

According to the New Mexico State University's, the World's Hottest Pepper since Feb 2012 goes to Trinidad Moruga Scorpion, not Bhut Jolokia any more like the Mythbusters video clip has mentioned in 2008.

Recompiling the list of chili peppers used in the two videos using the data from Wikipedia, here's the SHU list,

       3,500 -        8,000 SHU   Jalapeño 
     10,000 -      23,000 SHU   Serrano Pepper
     15,000 -      30,000 SHU   Chile de árbol
   100,000 -    350,000 SHU   Habenero 
   330,000 - 1,000,000 SHU   Bhut Jolokia
1,500,000 - 2,000,000 SHU   Trinidad Moruga Scorpion

At the beginning of the show, the theory goes to say milk has the fat that can neutralise the pain caused by the oily capsaicin, which means oil-based cures oil-based problem, water-based is unhelpful. Turns out, that's not the case because petroleum didn't help, but they concluded that full-fat milk was the cure for spicy hotness.

So you know what you need when your mouth is on fire?

Image from Perfect Skin Care For You

Bell pepper 
Serrano Pepper
Chile de árbol

capsaicin -- (n) is the active component of chili peppers, which are plants belonging to the genus Capsicum. It is an irritant for mammals, including humans, and produces a sensation of burning in any tissue with which it comes into contact.
capsaicin receptors 
suffocation -- (n) to (cause someone to) die because they do not have enough oxygen
Scoville scale
Trinidad Moruga Scorpion
Bhut Jolokia 

Spice: Thai Basils @ Locky's English Playground

Man v. Food @ Wikipedia

Chili pepper @ Wikipedia

Jalapeño @ Wikipedia

Serrano Pepper @ Wikipedia

Chile de árbol @ Wikipedia

Habenero @ Wikipedia

Bhut Jolokia  @ Wikipedia

Man v Food Spicy Hot Wings @ YouTube

Mythbusters - Hot Chili Cures @ YouTube

Capsaicin @ Wikipedia

Capsaicin receptor @ Wikipedia

World's Hottest Pepper @ Wikipedia

Trinidad Scorpion Moruga – The World’s Hottest Chili Pepper @ The Pepper Seed