Last Harvest – Red Hots

Most of the garden has been cleaned out and winterized, but this week I gathered all the hot red peppers and threw them into the dehydrator so they could be crunched up for pepper flakes. I wore gloves and put the dehydrator safely out on the porch so we didn’t get overwhelmed with fumes.

Actually, my mouth is no fan of hot spices. I experience them as unpleasant except in small doses, but my husband is just the opposite. For him, it is “the hotter, the better!” in both spice and temperature. I find it interesting how we react so differently and did some internet research. Apparently, it comes down to science, genetics, and the life experience that influences your preferences.

I found articles from the points of view of Psychology, Medicine, and Food Preparation, and they all add to the picture. Here is something for you to chew on.

Capsaicin is an irritant for all mammals, and it causes a burning sensation when it comes into contact with any skin or mucous membrane. In the mouth, capsaicin bypasses your taste buds and binds to pain receptors on the tongue called TRPV1. “Your tongue has lots of nerve endings, so when capsaicin hits that area and triggers a chemical response between nerve endings, which sends a signal to the brain,” Dr. Vivek Kumbhari, director of bariatric endoscopy at Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore, told BuzzFeed News. Capsaicin also binds to receptors on the tongue that detect heat, which is why spicy food feels “hot.”

So, there you go. I won’t likely be using those crushed peppers but my husband will put them on practically everything.

About bluestempond

Hobby farmer living at Bluestem Pond in Michigan.
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