Beating the Burn!
Picture this scenario. You've been eating spicy foods for your whole life and stupidly think of yourself as invincible when it comes to chili. One day a friend comes over with a little bottle of chilli sauce for you to try, and you think to yourself, "I'll chuck a load of that on my egg butty" only to find that you've just unleashed hell in your mouth and was not prepared for such an intense heat. Apart from wallowing in self-pity and regret, what do you do next? Most people would run straight to the kitchen for a cold glass of water. Don't be most people! Read carefully because here's what you need to do to soothe that burn!
Seriously avoid this stuff!
Water – In most cases, water is your friend. Now I'm not advising you to cut out water completely, because obviously that would be stupid! But when your mouth is burning, all water is going to do is spread the capsaicin around your mouth, which you really don't want! Some people advise rinsing your mouth out with warm water and spitting it out, but it's not a great option!
Beer – Yes beer! Again, beer may be your friend, but when it feels like you've done a shot of napalm you may want to reconsider. While it is believed that alcohol in fact helps to break down capsaicin (we'll cover that later!) beer is still mainly just water, so it's not going to help you out much!
The Good Stuff!
Milk – Without doubt the number one remedy for dragon mouth! And don’t just settle for any old milk, the fattier the better! The idea is that the fat and oils help dilute and break up the capsaicin, so reach for the full fat! Plus milk is great for you anyway so it's a win win situation really, isn't it?
Yoghurt – It works in basically the same way as milk, but can be much tastier. This Is why a lot of curries are often accompanied with yoghurt. There's method in the madness! If yoghurt or milk aren't your cup of tea, ice cream has the same qualities but its temperature can be heavenly when you need it the most.
Alcohol – Yes okay, so I know I said don’t drink beer but this is different! Alcohol is actually proven to help with the burn, but only the high proof stuff. Admittedly, it isn't the most effective solution but it won't make you any worse and what's the harm in having a nice shot of tequila after your meal? Besides, if you have enough of the stuff, you'll probably forget all about the burn anyway. This can however be a vicious circle, as once intoxicated you may fancy a kebab, "accidentally" lather it in more hot sauce and be right back where you started.
Starchy foods – While starch foods aren't particularly the best for dissolving or neutralizing the capsaicin, they do act as a sort of mop. They can be great at soaking up anything lingering about in your mouth so it's always handy to have a bowl of rice or a nice crusty loaf to hand! Bread is far more effective than rice due to its spongy consistency.
Sugar – A spoon full of sugar helps the capsaicin go down! No, honestly it really does. And if you don't fancy a teaspoon of granulated sugar in your mouth, perhaps you'd prefer some honey!
Now I don't know about you, but since reading all of this over again I seem to have formulated one hell of a cure. You take a cup of whole fat milk, heat it up to a nice warm temperature then stir in some honey and add a shot of whisky. Now serve that up with an ice cream sandwich and bon appetite. (Please note that this may be a very terrible idea)
Got your own weird and wonderful cure for a fiery mouth? Which chili products have caused you the most grief?