While an episode of “Hot Ones” might have a glass of milk ready for its guests, that beverage may not be the only way to temper the scorching spice from chili peppers. A lime-sugar soda might be the bubbly way to extinguish the flames.
Peppers are spicy due to their capsaicin levels. Even though some people subscribe to the idea that removing seeds, piths, and veins can reduce spiciness, some peppers still have an inherent heat. If eliminating that ingredient from a recipe is not possible, a soak in lemon-lime soda can be the solution. The idea is that the sugar and acid in the beverage can bring that intense flavor in check.
Allow the chili peppers to sit in the liquid for about an hour to achieve the desired results. After that bath, the heat disappears, and the vegetable tastes more like a bell pepper. If using this method, it is best to rinse the peppers well. Most recipes do not call for sugary citrus peppers.
For the cook who wants the crunch or color from a chili pepper but prefers to avoid the flavor flames, a lemon-lime soda can be an easy-to-implement food hack.
Is It The Sugar Or The Lime In The Beverage That Takes The Heat Out Of A Spicy Pepper?
When cooks heard about the lemon-lime soda hack to reduce a pepper’s spice level, some wondered why this scientific reaction works. Cooks have come to appreciate that adding a sugar component to an overly spicy recipe can put it back in balance. As the pepper soaks in the liquid, the sugar helps to counteract the capsaicin in the pepper.
This idea is similar to people who eat a sugar packet before or after eating spicy food. The sugar absorbs the oil and works like a natural cooling agent. It might not be the Mary Poppins phrase about helping the medicine go down, but it will turn that burning feeling into something more manageable.
Although sugar is a significant component, some people think that the acid from the lime works to douse the pepper’s fiery flames. This idea is similar to how some Asian dishes use a touch of lime to lessen the bold Thai chili flavor in a dish. While the acid note does help, it may not be as powerful as sugar’s impact. In this case, grabbing the lime soda might not be necessary. A sugar water bath might be as effective as popping open that soda can.
Is It Easy To Identify Which Pepper Is Going To Have Intense Spice?
While some can handle the heat, others prefer to avoid the mouth-scorching experience. Peppers can vary from sweet to extremely high on the Scoville scale, but for anyone who has played Spanish tapas pepper roulette, knowing which bite brings the heat might be a matter of luck.
With Shishito peppers, it is hard to tell the spiciest from the mildest pepper on the plate. Each vegetable reacts differently to the soil and other growing elements, which impacts the final taste. Unfortunately, in this pepper-picking scenario, it is the luck of the draw.
Otherwise, the tried-and-true pepper prep methods apply. Removing the seeds and the pith should reduce potential spice spikes. And, if a person is spice-adverse, they should educate themselves on pepper types. There is a big difference in the flavor between a green pepper and a pepper x. Even the best soda hack may not efficiently squash the spice in that extreme vegetable.
Read the original article on Daily Meal.