The Capsaicin Effect: Homemade Hot Sauce

| 1/21/2010 12:03:13 PM

A.TilsonEither my taste buds are dying or I’ve developed immunity to the taste of my own cooking because increasingly I’ve had to use more and more salt in anything I create. 

I know that this can’t be good for my heart or my waistline, so in an effort to cut back, I’m trying to heat up my cooking with more peppers. 

This approach seems to work wonderfully for many of my friends and family, who pour on the Sriracha and Louisiana Hot Sauce like it’s going out of style.

So far I haven’t found quite the same enjoyment, but I’ll keep battling through my burning tears and runny nose in the hopes of cultivating an appreciation for the fierier side of life. And until I do, I’ll keep lots of yogurt within arms’ reach.

Bright peppers
Photo by Darwin Bell/Courtesy Flickr

Despite my struggles, it turns out that a love for all things spicy may not be a choice. According to Kim Erickson's article, Hot Chile Pepper Health, capsaicin, which is the active ingredient in hot peppers, can cause an addictive reaction because, as your taste buds burn, your brain produces pain-relieving endorphins.