Chilli Facts You May Not Know

Chilli Facts You May Not Know!


The chilli pepper (also known as Chili or Chile) is the fruit from the capsicum plant and a relative of the tomato. 


Chilli’s come in a variety of different shapes, sizes and colours.  The most common are Capsicum annum and Capsicum Frutescens, which include common varieties such as bell peppers, paprika, jalepenos, cayenne and Tabasco.


What makes chilli hot?


Chillis are given their heat by a substance called Alkaloid capsaicin and four other chemicals, collectively known as capsaicinoids.   Capsaicin effects are not long lasting and trick the central nervous system into releasing endorphins, which in turn produce a pleasurable sensation.  This is why eating Fire Foods makes you feel so good!


Each capsaicinoid has a different effect on the mouth, and the variation in the proportions of these chemicals is responsible for the differing sensations produced by the different chilli varieties. Some, like the Chiltepin chilli, provide a quick explosive heat. Whereas, the heat of the Habanero chilli builds very gradually.


Chilli’s hotness is measured in Scoville units.  Bell peppers are ranked at zero on the scoville scale and hananeros are ranked at 300,000 units!


It wont be hot if I take the seeds out


In actual fact, a chilli will still be hot, even if you take the seeds out.  This is because capsaicin is produced in the glands of the pepper – most of the heat is found in the placenta of the chilli that attaches the seed to the pod.


The Infinity Chilli


One of the hottest chillis is the Infinity Chilli, lovingly grown by us here at Fire Foods!  It measures a massive, mouth-watering 1.25 million scoville units!


How to combat the heat


The best antidotes to the heat from chilli’s are dairy products such as milk or yoghurt.  Swigging beer is one of the worst things you can do, as you will wash the heat further into your taste buds.  If it has to be an alcoholic beverage, make it tequila, which helps to neutralise the heat.  Levi Roots also swears that Peanut Butter is the best way to curb the heat?!


Eat chilli’s and sleep well


Researchers in Australia discovered that a group of volunteers fell asleep more easily when they ate food rich in chilli’s.  They also said they woke better and seemed to have more energy in the day.


Why not try one of the delicious chilli sauces from Fire Foods?  It’s the perfect way to add some heat to your food this summer, even without the sun!