Have you ever wished that you could enjoy some foods like Nashville hot chicken but couldn’t because of the heat level? It is okay to find yourself in such a situation. Not everyone can tolerate a high level of spiciness. However, if you are curious about exploring spicy foods, know that tolerating a high level of spiciness does not require any specialized skills. You might want to have a glass of cold milk nearby while you test your taste buds.
In this blog you will learn how to increase your tolerance for hot foods and perhaps actually enjoy it. Ask anyone you know who loves spicy foods and they will definitely have a few tips and tricks on how to handle the BURN!
There is a saying that Rome wasn’t built in a day and that is true with hot foods as well. You’re not going to suddenly turn to a PRO so it is best you start small and build your tolerance. We have five heat levels at Crimson Coward. We suggest starting with one of the lowest heat levels and work your way up. Don’t assume that you can instantly cope with a higher level of hotness!
The main chemical responsible for the heat is called capsaicin. As you eat spicy food, the nerve cells in your tongue send a signal to your brain. That signal is what is processed as a burning sensation in your mouth. The more you eat spicy foods, the more resistance you develop and the lesser of the effect of the capsaicin in your mouth. As you get comfortable with a particular degree of hotness, you may start to increase it gradually to see how far you can go. Don’t forget the milk to help with the heat or a piece of bread.
Slow and steady will always win the race and if you want to increase your tolerance for hot food fast, you have to take it slowly. Even if you are the type that tends to eat your meals quickly, you must not overwhelm your mouth and taste buds if you want to actually enjoy your spicy food.
Each time you introduce the food to your mouth, the receptors send signals to your brain and the effect is renewed. So you want to take it slow for the burning sensation to wear out before you take your next bite. If you try to speed things up, the sensation may become unbearable for you and you may no longer enjoy your food.
Another trick is to have other food that doesn’t contain capsaicin by the side. Taking a bite of other foods may help your mouth to cool down faster. As you do this, you would eventually find a balance and know the right speed for you to eat your spicy food.
You may be able to request to add the heat yourself to some foods when you dine out. This is great because you can adjust the hotness to your preference. Know this may not be possible at every restaurant and will depend on the dish. You can experiment with different heat levels in your own kitchen and at Crimson Coward. How hot will you go?
One of the common mistakes that people make when eating hot food is to drink a lot of water thinking it will calm them down. Capsaicin is not soluble in water and drinking water may not allow the sensation to go away. Although cold water may feel nice while it’s in your mouth but that feeling is not going to last.
However, milk can bond with the capsaicin in your mouth and neutralize the fiery sensation that you may be having. If at any point the heat is too much then relieve yourself by drinking milk or any other milk product like yogurt. Don’t assume that you can cope with the heat without building up your tolerance.
The goal is to learn to enjoy spicy food! It is okay if you feel like you can’t increase your heat tolerance. Although it is not clear why some people really crave spicy foods it’s likely the result of several factors such as your environment and experience with hot foods.
You don’t have to feel bad for not enjoying hot food. There is nothing wrong with it, just a matter of personal taste and preference. Some people not only tolerate spicy food but they crave it. So try experimenting at home or right here at Crimson Coward and discover what your ideal heat level is.