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August 29, 2001

The Road To Scoville

Yesterday I had the opportunity to taste a sauce made from the Habanero pepper. Vaguely, in the back of my mind, I realized that this was a bad idea, but apparently my forebrain hadn't connected to this yet. I like Jalapenos, after all, so this should be tasty, no?

I took a tiny bite of Chicken Mole Tamalon, with just an eighth of a teaspoon of the Habanero sauce on it. Chewing, I felt the heat, not bad. Swallowing, I had the experience one gets when the brain realizes that the body is doing something stupid in the nanosecond after it is too late to override. The heat in my mouth was escalating alarmingly.

In moments I was reaching for my water, swirling it around my mouth, trying to extinguish the fire. As the morsel hit my stomach, other reactions were set in motion, apparently, as I was treated to a sequence of rapid-fire burps, bang! bang! bang! Nothing else came up, and there was no abdominal pain, surprisingly, but it was kinda funny.

For the next hour eating the most innocuous and bland material reminded me of my experiment, as any food touching my mouth triggered a renewed burst of heat. I've since researched the Scoville rating for Habaneros, and find they are twenty to one hundred twenty times hotter than Jalapenos! Oof.

Posted by dpwakefield at August 29, 2001 09:32 AM