Peppers can be delicious, but if you’re unlucky and eat that one super spicy pepper, you may need to stop eating and start crying immediately. Eating something that’s too spicy is one of those moments that feels like an out of body experience, like you might legit die without being able to move your pained mouth enough to utter your last words.
There are a lot of myths regarding spicy food and how to control those awful moments. A lot of people mention beer, sugar, soda and water, but if the level of spiciness is real, all of these pseudo prescriptions will just spread the pain around. The Takeout interviewed different experts from companies whose business is to sell peppers and hot sauces, and most of them claimed that fatty foods where the best way to go when it comes to cooling down.
The Hippy Seed Company says:
Capsaicin is an oil, so by sipping on milk, the oil binds to the fats and dissipates, depending on how much you are burning, you may have to sip for a while. Water, beer, or soft drinks don’t help, and in fact can move the oil around the mouth making the burn worse. If you’re lactose intolerant and don’t do dairy, then soy milk will do the trick.
The guys behind Heat Hot Sauce in Berkeley, California agree, claiming that fatty foods, specifically milk, work for two reasons, “In terms of the science, there are two reasons milk works well. One is the fat content—capsaicin is soluble in fat but not water, so it can bind to the milk fat. The other is the casein, a milk protein which has a detergent effect that dislodges the capsaicin from your heat receptors.”
Ice cream and yogurt are even better options than milk. So if you eat something spicy, stick around for dessert and you’ll feel much better. According to celebrity chef Rick Bayless, the true cure for a spicy mouth is time. He claims that even though eating ice cream or yogurt works to a certain extent, you’ll mostly be distracting yourself until the burn fades away, which it always does.