We love our spicy food here, but even we have to admit defeat and take a break sometimes! Everyone has their own ‘hot take’ on how to cool down after chillies, but here’s a few tried and tested methods from the Easy Food team!
How to cool things down after a chilli-heavy meal.
Beware the water
Drinking water may seem like the obvious choice but, because the oils in chillies won’t mix with it, the water will provide relief for just a moment before that heat comes roaring back.
Make for the milk
Reach for dairy to help ease the pain of your hot mouth. Casein (the protein in milk) helps to break the bonds that capsaicin forms on nerve receptors. This may help explain why cultures that use a lot of spices in their food often include dairy in their recipes to offset the effects; think about yoghurt in Indian cuisine and sour cream in Mexican food.
A spoonful of sugar
In addition to “helping the medicine go down,” a spoonful of granulated sugar or honey will help to absorb the spice. In fact, the measuring unit for the heat in chillies — known as the Scoville Heat Unit — is based on the amount of sugar needed to neutralise the heat.
Chew on chocolate
Need another reason to eat more chocolate? The high fat content in milk chocolate will help remove some of the capsaicin from the mouth because it is more soluble in fat than water-based solutions.
A slice of bread can provide relief to your burning mouth by soaking up the oily capsaicin. Rice will provides the same effect, but may soak up less oil due to its grainy texture.