Friday, May 5, 2017

Day 2759 - How to neutralize hot foods in the mouth

Has spicy food ever brought tears to your eyes?

About 8  years ago when the hubster and I were on a little junket to the Big Island of Hawaii I accidentally ate a chilli.

How does one "accidentally" eat a a chilli?

It was small and it was in my Chinese food.  It was showing off a bit, sitting at the top of my dish wagging its chilli tail at me.  I knew it was there. It wasn't hiding.

I pointed to the chilli and said to the hubster "do I just eat this?  Is it very hot?"  to which he replied, "yeah, eat it. It's not that hot."

So I put the chilli in my mouth and chewed.  My husband watched with bug eyed awe.

"Holy shit, what did you do that for?"

I wanted to answer with the obvious "because you told me to" but I couldn't on account that the breath had been sucked out of me.  Tears poured from my eyes as my tongue burst into flames.  Breathing wasn't an option.  As my face got redder all I could do was cry.

When I finally remembered to breath through my nose I screamed "you said it wasn't hot!!"

To which he replied "I meant the food in general, not the bloody chilli. Of course the actual chilli is hot."

On hearing my hysteria the waitress came over with two little packets of sugar.  "Quick," she said, "Eat the sugar.  It will neutralize the chilli."

So I did and the flames were doused.

According to a "Journal of Physiology and Behaviour" study, sugar is indeed a hot food neutralizer.  Honey and sugar can both help modify any experience you may have with a pepper.

Dairy is also known to tone down the effects of spicy food which is why many cultures incorporate dairy in their spicy recipes.  Yoghurt is a well known condiment when being served curry.

Combining the sugar and dairy together, as in ice-cream, may have an even better impact.

So that's your little life hack for today.

Ever had a bad chilli experience?

Did you know that sugar can neutralize chilli?

Got any life hacks of your own? 

Information sources:,, and

1 comment :

  1. I didn't know that about sugar and chilli. My eldest daughter picked a chilli when she was five and then rubbed her eyes. OMG. Not sure sugar would have worked on that occasion.


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