31 votes
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Is there a quintessential Italian hot sauce?

Bottled hot sauce is not much in demand in Italy. I'm in central Italy, but I think in the south where spicy food is popular, chili is added fresh or dried to a dish rather than through a bottled ...
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27 votes
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How can vegans alleviate the effects of spicy food?

I have done no testing of this at all but I was surprised to find on this site that they recommend trying a spoon full (or cube of) sugar. Perhaps the easiest way of calming down a flaming mouth is ...
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  • 16.2k
22 votes

Unambiguously referring to "spiciness"

Spiciness is a taste perception, and as such, it is simply subjective. There is no way to create an objective scale for rating it. I read your comment about "objective spiciness", but it is not ...
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  • 125k
17 votes
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Counteract the negative effects of spicy ingedients with other ingredients

There's nothing you can put into the food that will neutralize the spice after you eat it. The only way to avoid the infamous "ring of fire" is to add less spice to begin with. One way you can do this ...
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  • 67.1k
17 votes

Is there a quintessential Italian hot sauce?

I have family both in the very north and the very south of Italy. In the north, spicy food is not super common but there is usually a jar of dried chilies in olive oil somewhere in the kitchen and ...
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15 votes

How can vegans alleviate the effects of spicy food?

Avocado would be the classic answer IME (often in the form of guacamole, but not required to be in that form.) AFAIK it's the fat effectively diluting the hot pepper oil in either case, (where it's ...
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  • 10.6k
15 votes

Is there a quintessential Italian hot sauce?

The only one I know of is the Calabrese Spread/Sauce. Whenever I see spicy food in Italy they mostly use hot chili. Other than that, oil flavored with spicy chili.
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  • 19.4k
15 votes
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Does peppers (capsaicin) actually burn?

The "heat" associated with capsaicin isn't something that would show up in thermal imaging. Spicy foods will not be warmer on your plate or in your mouth than a non-spicy item exposed to the ...
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  • 8,065
12 votes

Counteract the negative effects of spicy ingedients with other ingredients

Capsaicin isn't actually stored in the seeds: It's in the membrane surrounding them. It's a pretty useless distinction, though, since it's pretty much impossible to remove the membrane without ...
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11 votes

How can vegans alleviate the effects of spicy food?

There's a great answer to this from Vietnam, where super-spicy food is popular and dairy generally isn't. It combines many of the other suggestions into something wonderfully smooth and soothing: ...
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11 votes
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Why is spicy food less spicy when it's allowed to cool?

Capsaicin, the chemical that makes peppers spicy, activates a sensory receptor which can also be activated by heat. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capsaicin#Mechanism_of_action) That means that when ...
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10 votes
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What is the world's hottest pepper?

The world record holder is currently the Carolina Reaper according to Guinness (as of AUG 2013). This pepper began its family tree as a crossbreed between a Ghost Chili pepper and a Red Habanero. ...
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  • 3,790
9 votes

How can vegans alleviate the effects of spicy food?

Try a nut milk (almond comes to mind), soy milk or coconut milk. Here's a highly rated recipe for vegan "Sour Cream".
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  • 58k
9 votes

Can I reprocess vinegar hot pepper jelly?

Yes, though to be clear, you unseal, empty the jars into a pot, heat & add sugar, (while re-cleaning/sterilizing the jars) then fill the hot jars and process. You don't just add sugar to the jars. ...
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8 votes
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Identify this unusual spicy appetizer

It sounds like it could be Shishito peppers, which about 10% are spicy, and "even experts may not be able to distinguish relative hotness on the same plant.".
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  • 208
8 votes

How can vegans alleviate the effects of spicy food?

I've always liked the bread solution more than the dairy solution. It somehow feels to me that bread "mops up" the spicy stuff from my mucosa, while dairy dissolves it, but also spreads it around in ...
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  • 125k
7 votes
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Does lime juice make jalapeños less spicy?

Lime juice isn't going to make it less spicy, if anything I've found it accentuates the spiciness a bit although I'm not sure of the mechanism. It could be that the acidity frees up more capsaicin ...
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7 votes
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Ingredient Identification: Hong Kong restaurant spicy spice

It's possible it was a combination called 麻辣 (ma-la,) literally "numbing and spicy", a mix of hot chilies and Sichuan peppercorns (which are called Huā jiāo [花椒].)
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6 votes

Unambiguously referring to "spiciness"

I don't think there is an unambiguous system -- for example, the Thai places in my town alone have vastly different systems for rating how hot their dishes are (so an extra hot at one place is a ...
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  • 1,937
6 votes
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Unambiguously referring to "spiciness"

The best choice, in my opinion, is not to try to communicate - but to ask for a taste! Places that use spicy sauces will likely be willing to give you a small taste of the sauce (as spicy sauces are ...
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  • 5,448
6 votes

can ice help with spicy food?

No. The chemical action of capsaicin (the compound that triggers the burning sensation) is an effect on chemical receptors in your taste buds. It's perceived to a degree as temperature but it's ...
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  • 14.7k
6 votes

What pepper is used in Sriracha sauce?

Huy Fong Sriracha Sauce is made with a specific variety of red jalapeños which, at this point, is grown only for them. Note that this is different from traditional Thai sriracha, which is made ...
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  • 46.3k
6 votes
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Did I kill my chili's heat by processing the tomatoes and onions together?

So, first, that chili recipe will always be heavily meat-flavored because it has 3lbs of beef in it; at a glance, that recipe is more than half beef by weight. So if you want a recipe with a subtler ...
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  • 46.3k
6 votes

What is considered "mild" vs. "hot" in different countries? (measured empirically)

Nobody has published reports on this kind of empirical evaluation, and there's a few reasons why not (in the below, "heat" refers to spiciness from capsaicin): Heat tolerance and preference ...
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  • 46.3k
5 votes

What wines pair well with spicy, citrus chicken?

In my experience, dry wines risk being completely killed by hot food. The classical pairing would be an aromatic white, like Gewürztraminer or Riesling, with substantial sweetness. Germany is the ...
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  • 1,396
5 votes
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Tabasco flavor without pain?

The heat provided by capsaicin really is a pretty unique one that seems to have a lot to do with how it binds to pain receptors (see Aaronut's answer from a previous thread). I think this component ...
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  • 14.7k
5 votes

Unambiguously referring to "spiciness"

No, there is no objective way, other than the Scoville scale or measuring the moles of capsaicin per gram, because people lose sensitivity to spiciness as they get used to it. I would describe how ...
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  • 1,080
5 votes

What makes spicy heat linger?

I've lived (and eaten my way around) South East Asia for nearly the last fifteen years, and I think I know the effect that you're describing. Feel free to let me know if I'm off. If what you're ...
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  • 4,056
5 votes
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How to Calculate Scoville Heat?

You cannot calculate it, you can only measure it. Scoville is a subjective scale. Wikipedia tells you how it is measured - by testing with human panelists, using a certain protocol. As all ...
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  • 125k
5 votes
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Turning Harissa into Hot Sauce

The only difference between something that would be called "hot sauce" and a "chili paste" is the consistency, and perhaps how finely ground the chilis are (though harissas are usually pretty finely ...
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