If you grew up in a region where spicy food is the norm, you probably don’t see what the big deal is about eating it. Like so many other things involving cuisine, spice is an acquired taste. If you have a tender mouth but want to leap into the brave, bold, and delicious world of spicy food that is adored by millions of people in all cultures and regions of the Earth, don’t worry – it’s not too late!
Follow this guide to jumping into the deep end of the culinary pool and enjoying spicy food.
Peppers are just some of the amazing spices awaiting your conversion.
Eat spicy foods in small doses frequently. Prime your system for the heat and power of spicy foods by consuming them often, but in modest amounts. In a surprisingly short amount of time, your palate will become immunized – at least partially – to the effect of the burn.
Before You Eat
Drinking milk – preferably whole milk – before eating spicy foods dampens the kick that comes with it. Milk will provide a temporary , fat-laden coating on the entirety of the inside of your mouth, and create a barrier to block out the caustic chemicals in spicy foods.
Another trick to preventing the agony of over-spicing is to chew and suck on some ice before you eat spicy foods. Ice lowers the temperature of the inside of your mouth, constricts the capillaries, and numbs your nerve endings and pain receptors. This has a neutralizing effect on inflammation and pain involved with eating the hot stuff.
After You Eat
Just as there are pre-spicy preparations you can take, there are also a few tricks for post-spice. When you’re finished eating anything hot, rinse your mouth out with warm water. If you’re eating a lot or over an extended period, do the same periodically between bites. Spice is cumulative, and the simple act of rinsing out the buildup can help you endure.
Another finishing move is to eat bread after you eat spicy food. This not only has an absorbing affect on the inside of your mouth, but throughout your entire digestive tract and finally in your stomach.
Avoid Carbonated Drinks
Don’t drink carbonated beverages while you eat spicy food, at least until you’re used to its effect on your body. Carbonated beverages can increase or exaggerate any gastrointestinal inflammation resulting from eating spicy foods.
Virtually every culture incorporates hot spice into some of their food.
Spicy food is not for everybody – but it can be. In a category all by itself, spicy food is tantalizing and unforgettable – and it doesn’t have to be painful. Take the time to get your body, mouth, and mind acclimated to it, and pretty soon, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it.