---Alice Abrams

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Manic Monday - Heat

This is what your mouth will look like inside after you eat some of these....
Of all the sources of heat and all the possibilities, the one that bugs me most is the summer weather! I hate summer and it's vile heat!!! Okay, enough of that hobby horse. So, I choose one of nature's most unique sources of heat and discomfort, the heat emanating from hot peppers!

They can be mild, piquant, stimulating and downright death-defying! I remember a sweet little ol' lady at church who canned some of the hottest killer salsa! We all had a good laugh when the brattiest little boy in the congregation insisted he could handle it. He was told by all that there was no way he was up for this stuff (which I think was pay-back from all the adults who had had it with his brattiness...and were just being passive-regressive!). Being properly egged on, he proceeded to engage in a healthy chip load of the demonic juice and spent the next hour regretting his boastfulness!!! My husband, who was a connoisseur of hot delights, couldn't handle this stuff.

About 30 years ago, I had lunch with a friend at a new Asian restaurant, specializing in Szechuan cuisine with which I was unfamiliar. When my meal arrived it looked wonderful so I dug in with gusto, not suspecting that I was about to render my tongue completely useless for 24 hours!
Good grief! What I thought was just a piece of ordinary vegetable, happened to come from the devil's very own garden - the antithesis of the fruit of good and evil.

I tried to keep my composure and not scream bloody murder. I know, being raised on Mexican food, that drinking liquid is the wrong thing to do when your mouth is literally on fire, but I was afraid to put anymore food into my mouth until I was able to isolate exactly what it was that had perpetrated this horror on it! So, I slowly sipped my ice tea and wondered if I'd ever be able to speak again. I left in a state of shock, not knowing what hit me.

I never did find out what those nasty little sons of bi...oops! I mean, peppers, were, but if we ever need a tool by which to make terrorists divulge their deepest, darkest secrets, I suggest we ship the CIA (or whomever) a boatload of these babies!!!
The Scoville Scale
A scale developed by Wilbur Scoville in 1912, to
measure the heat level in chillies. It was first a
subjective taste test, but since, it has been
refined by the use of HPLC, the unit is named in
honour of its inventor.
The test officially measures the pungency level of a
given pepper. There are other methods, but the
Scoville Scale remains the most widely used and
respected. The greater the number of Scoville units,
the hotter the pepper. Of course, being a natural
product, the heat can vary from pepper to pepper,
so this scale is just a guide.

The original Scoville test asked a panel of tasters
to state when an increasingly dilute solution of the
pepper no longer burned the mouth. Roughly one part
per million of chilli 'heat' rates as 1.5 Scoville
Bell, Sweet Italian 0
New Mexico 500-1000
Ancho, Poblano 1000-1500
Jalapeno, Chipolte 2500-10,000
Serrano 5000-23,000
Cayenne, Piquin 30,000-50,000
Habenero 80,000-300,000
(*The hottest recorded was a Habenero)
Pure Capsaicin measures 16,000,000 Scoville units!

So, to celebrate Manic Monday, here are some photos of the gorgeous Capsaicin-soaked veggies and what to indulge in after injesting them! Please visit Morgen and join in!


Shaz said...

Well done, I love both Chillies & ice Cream, lots of good info there but can you help my dying Chilli Plant? . . lol

Gattina said...

I always be very careful when it comes to hot pepper, but once in a Thai restaurant I ate "Basilicum leaves" usually it's not hot at all but this one was so hot that I spat fire !

Callie Ann said...

My goodness woman you have done your research. When are you moving away from that blasted freakin desert in California? Oregon is calling your name. Gracie,,,,, Gracie Dear please come to Oregon in the summertime. Get away from the Govenator and the illegal aliens. we speaky english in Oregon. ha ha ha. Love ya girl

Unknown said...

I am not much of a chili pepper fan (either the rock bank or the food stuff). However, I did enjoy the research and the ice cream photo at the end of your MM post!

Thank you for visiting my Manic Monday: Heat post this week.

Happy MM! Villager

Alice (in BC Canada) said...

Great post. I like jalepineo peppers. Not sure if I spelled that right in the middle of the night, but I still like to eat them, lol, and I do know I love ice cream even more.

I have no grog
To drink on my blog
But won’t it be neat
To read about heat?
See you there.

Reba said...

Woooffy... arff, arf... pant pant pant. Peppers is too hot for me, but I'll take a raw steak.

I’m a puppy dog
With my own blog.
Bring me a treat
And we’ll talk about heat.
Come visit.

Carrie said...

Oh my, more ice cream!! You guys are making me hunnngry :) Happy MM!

Durward Discussion said...

I love peppers, but pass the ice cream.

Sarge Charlie said...

This is just an excellent post, funny but true, been there done that... My favorite Mexican food chili rellenos.

Empress Bee (of the high sea) said...

oh gracie that ice cream looks good! i love hot stuff too but not too too hot...

smiles, bee

Anonymous said...

a great post--have a wonderful week.

Mo and The Purries said...

On the scoville scale, I register as "whimp" -- but Janna probably would have eaten that little old lady's killer salsa by the spoonfull!
A friend made her some pinapple-hot pepper salsa, and she LOVED it.
No one else was able to touch it.

My little banana pepper plants on my deck have tiny little yellow fingers on them though, that excites me!

Happy MM!

Sandee said...

Excellent job her Gracie. I can relate to the hot peppers. Japanese peppers are the hottest I've had thus far. They start burning before you even get them in your mouth. I've had a similar dining experience. Yikes.

Loved the ice cream. Ice cream is a great cure-all. Had some yesterday at Cold Stone. Happy MM my sweet friend. :)

Ron Simpson said...

more than likely it was a thai chili. It probably was a 'prig kee nu,' These little peppers are about an inch long and very hot. Green ones are not ripe, and red are ripe. The smaller, the hotter they are. They can range from 75,000 to 150,000 Scovilles. They are really nasty peppers and can instantly irritate the skin. I use surgical gloves when I cook with them. I had a bad episode where I did not and three days later I rubbed my eye and I STILL had the juice under my fingernails and it caused severe pain. You counteractit with baking soda. Since the part that makes it hot is acidic, the baking soda negates it.

Nikki Neurotic said...

My dad adores spicy food, one day he made these hot wings with a dry rub...and well, at the time I also liked spicy wings so I took one before he tried one. I thought I was gonna die. I tried everything...drinking several glasses of milk, eating bread, even brushed my teeth. My mouth hurt for hours.

Constance said...

Dark green jalapenos in vinegar are about the hottest I can handle, Gracie !

I'm glad the brat got what he deserved. Serves him right !

Doesn't milk take away the burn if you eat a chili ?

Don't be jealous about me having my Dad at 86, Gracie. For the first 85 years of his life he was the most emotionally abusive, cruel, destructive, irrational, crazy-making human being going. You would NEVER want him for a father.

Gledwood said...

That icecream looks well yummy...

As for chili peppers ... I remember buying some for a "stir fry" I was doing some months ago.

I think I put one yellow scotch bonnet pepper in ... cut up big so I could fish it out again ...

Gracie I thought I was going to die. I was sweating as if I had malaria, the full works ... strangely it did NOT really burn my mouth ... it was just this horrible sweating...

someone told me I might be slightly allergic ...

(maybe?) but anyway I add a tiny pinch of chili powder to my dumplings now. It makes them effortlessly superior. I use chili instead of black pepper ~~far more versatile ...

is the correct spelling with one or two Ls do you know?

I use one bc of the Spanish (otherwise it would be chee-yee) but then again it's not Spanish is it though there's a Spanish-speaking country called Chile ...

but I digress

hope you had a fantastic weekend!

all the best


Crazy Working Mom said...

What a great post!

I can just see your eyes popping out of your head from the heat of those peppers! YIKES.

The ice cream looks YUMMY. :)
I'll have a scoop please, in a chocolate dipped cone.

Desert Songbird said...

I don't like hot food that is hot simply for the sake of being hot. I was raised eating spicy sweet food, so I prefer food that is spicy and kicky with good flavor, not just hot to be hot.

Habeneros? Ick!

Good take on MM, Gracie!

Travis Cody said...

Can I skip the chilis and go straight to the ice cream??

I've never been able to handle spicy peppers.

Heart of Rachel said...

I'm sorry to hear about your experience with spicy food. I love Szechuan shrimps and crabs but with a mild spicy flavor.

Unknown said...

Chillies and ice cream... I love both. Food can´t be hot enough for me. There´s a German online store selling the hottest hot sauces in the world. I guess I´m one of their best customers.

Jersey loves ice cream, too. She forgets about her "diva-status" when she´s allowed to lick strawberry ice cream (happens once in a year on her birthday)

Thanks for stopping by our blogs... sorry for catching up so late this week... the heat... you know =)