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Lesson 4

A red cartoon pepper breathing fire Cool down when needed: Dairy products are essential if you are trying to get used to spicy foods, especially those that contain capsaicin. Milk and other dairy products contain a protein called casein that binds with capsaicin and breaks it up so that it can be washed away – essentially lessening the heat. The effect of casein on capsaicin is similar to the effect of detergents on grease. As you build your tolerance, keep some dairy products nearby in case the heat is too much for you to handle.

Consider experimenting with other forms of heat Consider using products like wasabi or horseradish as your training wheels when entering the world of spice. The heat that you get from wasabi is quite different from the heat of a chili pepper. The chemical that provides wasabi’s heat is called allyl isothiocyanate and it is more readily controlled when compared to capsaicin. It is more volatile and will evaporate quickly, which means that the heat from wasabi will start to diminish once it is exposed to air. It is also much easier to wash away allyl isothiocyanate with water, tea or soda than it is to wash away capsaicin.