What's the Attraction to Eating Hot Peppers?

When Nicole, my eldest daughter, told me that she won a jalapeno-eating contest when she was an undergraduate at Stanford, I seriously wondered if she lost her mind.  Both of my girls love their food hot and spicy, and they must have gotten that taste for the torturous pain from Rob – certainly not from me.

Rob loves to cook with all kinds of spicy peppers, and our friend Mario keeps Rob in good supply with the variety of peppers he grows in his garden.  Last week, Rob “accidentally” forgot to take out the peppers before serving dinner, and when I took my first bite, I thought I was going to have a heart attack!  I ran to the sink and sprayed cold water on my tongue but it only relieved the pain for about 3 seconds.  Apparently, whole milk is the best remedy for the burn.

I was intrigued by this article “Feel the Burn! Why do we love chilli?Apparently for men, eating super hot chillis is a form of machismo; but for women, it’s a form of excitement.  Back in 1912, Wilbur Scoville, a pharmacist and pharmaceutical researcher, discovered a method for measuring a pepper’s hotness.  Before tasting hot peppers, I highly recommend that you understand the heat in the peppers you eat.

500 Scovilles       = Anaheims

1,000 Scovilles   = Poblanos

5,000 Scovilles   = Jalapenos

15,000 Scovilles = Serranos

40,000 Scovilles = Cayennes

100,000 Scovilles = Thai Bird’s Eye

300,000 Scovilles = Habaneros

2.2 million Scovilles = Carolina Reaper

I’m still not sure why anyone would eat anything hotter than a jalapeno.  So I guess I’m neither macho nor exciting because I like “mild” peppers.  Pain is usually something I don’t inflict upon myself.  But to each their own!

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