Needing to have your food kept extra mild at all times can curtail your enjoyment of new foods, as well as your dinner invitations from established kitchen wizards. The Serious Eats blog suggests some wise gradual steps toward a tougher tongue.
Photo by delphaber.
Along with knowing which peppers and spices to start out on (poblanos and cubanelles, moving on to jalapenos and serranos in Mexican cuisine, for example), anyone looking to ramp up their spice resistance should keep their spices on the side for self-dosing, a writer for Chile Pepper magazine suggests. They should also have some time-tested coolants on hand:
Have a little milk to go with your meal or mix a spoonful of sour cream into the salsa. Dairy products go a long way in taming any spicy pain. "A great tip is to have spicy food with something that is a natural coolant for the body. For example, Thai food tends to be spicy but they use a lot coconut milk, which is cooling," Seema says. "You will also find that Indian and Mexican food tends to have cilantro [coriander]or lime, which are both cooling and help to ease the powerful effect of spicy food."
Hit the link for more good advice on getting a hold on heat, and leave tips on your own best practices — and, hey, hilarious failures, if you have them — in the comments.
6 Ways to Build Your Spicy Food Tolerance [Serious Eats]