When is Spicy Too Spicy? A Case for Spicy Foods.

Foods & Drinks

  • Author Torontopho
  • Published October 27, 2022
  • Word count 743

Do you like your food with a little bit of spice, or do you like it hot? For some people, the spicier, the better. But at what point does spicy become too spicy? Is there such a thing as too much spice? Let’s explore.

The Scoville Scale

The Scoville Scale is the measurement of the pungency (spiciness or “heat”) of chilli peppers, as recorded in Scoville Heat Units (SHU), based on the concentration of capsaicinoids, among which capsaicin is predominant. Capsaicinoids are chemicals that contribute to the burning sensation when eating chilli peppers. Therefore, the more capsaicin a pepper has, the higher its place on the Scoville Scale.

For example, bell peppers have a very low concentration of capsaicin and are at the bottom of the Scoville Scale. Thus, Bell peppers have a Scoville rating of 0.

On the other hand, habanero peppers have a very high concentration of capsaicin and are at the top of the Scoville Scale.

According to the Guinness World Records, the hottest pepper in the world is the Carolina Reaper, with a score of 2.2 million SHU.

When Is Spicy Too Spicy?

So when is spicy too spicy? That really depends on your tolerance for spice. Some people can handle peppers with a high Scoville rating, while others can’t even handle peppers with a low Scoville rating. So it really varies from person to person. If you like your food with a bit of spice, stick to peppers with a lower Scoville rating. If you like it hot, you can go for peppers with a higher Scoville rating.

How to Handle Spicy Food

Let’s face it; we’ve all been there. You’re at a restaurant, you see a dish that looks delicious… and then you know that it’s covered in bright red chilli pepper. Your first instinct is to shy away from it, but something tells you to be brave and try it. So you take a bite… and instantly regret it. Your mouth is on fire, your eyes are watering, and you can feel the sweat beads forming on your forehead. But why does this happen? And more importantly, how can you prevent it?

Capsaicinoids bind to receptors in our mouths and throats responsible for sensing heat. When they do this, they trick our brains into thinking that we’re actually eating something hot, which sets off all the usual reactions — sweating, increased heart rate, etc. In high enough concentrations, capsaicinoids can even cause pain and burning sensations in our skin!

Tolerance Levels

So how do you prevent this from happening? The first step is to understand your own tolerance level. Everyone experiences spicy food differently, so what might be too much for one person might not be enough for another. Once you know how much heat you can handle, you can start working your way up from there.

If you’re really looking to push your limits, there are some things you can do to make spicy food even spicier. One is to increase the amount of capsaicinoids in the dish by using hotter peppers or adding more chilli powder. Another is to reduce the amount of fat in the dish — fat molecules help to break down capsaicinoids and make them less potent.

Spicy food can be a lot of fun — but only if you know your limits! By understanding how capsaicinoids work and what kind of effect they have on your body, you can make sure that your next culinary adventure is a pleasant one.

Just remember that once you’ve added spice to your food, it’s challenging to take it away, so start with less than you think you need and add more if necessary.

And who knows? After working your way up the Scoville scale, you’ll find that you’re able to handle more heat than you thought!

What does TorontoPHO offer?

Toronto Pho offers delicious, authentic Vietnamese cuisine at four locations across Ontario. All of our recipes are revised versions of dishes that have been passed down through generations in our family. Our menu includes various options, and we’re open late at night at all four locations!

Hot stuff? Oh yeah, ask our chef for it or try Hot Teriyaki Chicken Wing (Cánh Gà Chiên Teriyaki)

Use our easy-to-use app for Android and iPhone smartphones to place an order online for pickup or delivery. (Only for Toronto, North York, Hamilton, Woodbridge, and Vaughan cities)

TorontoPHO is an authentic Vietnamese Food in Toronto and Hamilton cities with 4 locations; open late at Night:

https://www.torontopho.com/

Find delicious food here https://www.torontopho.com/vietnamese-restaurant-menu.html

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