A common complaint I hear from spice newbies is that their palates just can't take hot dishes. And while I'm not one of those people who eats spicy food just for the sake of it, some of the world's best cuisines employ heat as an essential part of their flavor profile. So what's a globally-minded spice wimp to do?
'chile peppers' on Serious Eats
Fingers crossed, I'm hoping to have fresh bhut jolokia chiles arrive in my garden by the end of the summer. If you're not familiar, this bad boy is the world's hottest chile pepper with a Guinness World Record to prove it. I've only worked with the chile either in powder form or dried whole, and I've worn gloves and a mask while doing so. According to Jeff R. Blaine, there are certain things to consider before plunging into working with fresh jolokias. And he's a man to know because he recently used these fresh chiles straight from Northern India for his own hot sauce.
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...