Too much spice? Try these cures

A lot of us love spicy food, but sadly you may end up in a situation where you’ve overdone it on the extra spice.

Luckily, there’s help. If you ever find yourself with too much spice to handle, there are simple cures to cool things down fast. One of the best solutions is probably in your refrigerator right now. Dairy contains casein, which helps bind with the capsaicin in hot peppers to lessen the spice. You can always drink a glass of whole milk after the fact, but if you already know your dish is way too spicy before you’ve even started eating it, try adding in some extra butter, yogurt, or cream before your food even hits the table.

Sugar is another good option.

Once again, if you discover your dish is way too spicy hot while you’re still cooking, try calming things down a bit with granulated sugar or brown sugar. You can also try maple syrup or honey. Sugar works because peppers are ranked on the hot pepper scale, officially the Scoville Scale, by how much sugar-water is needed to neutralize them. Natural fats can help as well because they bond with and dissolve the oils in capsaicin. That’s why peanut butter is sometimes mixed into dishes such as curry. Acidic lemons or vinegar can neutralize capsaicin, too. Keep in mind while this may work, adding citrus will probably change the flavor of what you’re making. You could also try adding some rice or potatoes to mealtime. Sometimes a potato is put in a spicy curry to help dilute the spice a bit, while eating rice with curry just makes sense.

While water is a terrible idea to drink once you’ve already put hot peppers in your mouth...

You may be able to dilute a spicy dish with water while you’re still making it. You can also try adding meat or vegetable broth to give the dish more flavor, while limiting the extra spice.

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