'capsaicin' on Serious Eats

Serious Heat: Taming the Chile Fire

Editor's note: On Thursdays, Andrea Lynn, associate editor of Chile Pepper magazine, drops by to drop some Serious Heat. Photograph from TooFarNorth on Flickr When the fiery power of a chile catches you by surprise, calming the scorching pain is a necessity. The key to extinguishing the fire is understanding the chile and its heat. Science experts David Joachim and Andrew Schloss explained this in a recent article we did in Chile Pepper. According to the duo, hot and sweet peppers are members of the same botanical family, Capsicum, but sweet peppers have a recessive gene that prevents them from producing capsaicin. This spicy compound is produced by a chile pepper's placenta, the white internal membrane or "core" that holds... More

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