What does the sharpness of things mean

A little spice science - everything you need to know about: Spiciness!

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  • Why does chili have a different spiciness than black pepper? Why do hot dishes taste spicier than cold ones? Can you really get used to spicy food? And why is spicy not only delicious, but also makes you happy and healthy? Here we will make you a little smarter with the 7 sharpest facts:

    1. In purely physiological terms, spiciness, unlike sweet, sour, salty and bitter (and umami), is not a taste, but a feeling of pain. Ouch!
    2. The same dish tastes noticeably spicier when served hot. This is because the hot components of the spice address your heat receptors in the lining of the mouth and trigger a heat stimulus. This is of course increased by a high temperature.
    3. If you often eat very spicy food, you can get your body used to it over time and can then tolerate even more spiciness. But don't be too quick - you should increase the dose slowly!
    4. Spicy food really makes you happy! Because the body not only signals pain and heat, but also produces a kind of endogenous opiate that is supposed to suppress it. These are the famous endorphins, which are also released during happiness, exercise and sex!
    5. Sharpness is not always sharp! The capsaicin in chilli peppers, for example, has a burning hot spiciness, while the substances contained in Szechuan pepper have a tingly and numbing effect on the tongue. The spiciness of mustard seeds and horseradish, on the other hand, rises in the nose.
    6. Most substances that create a sharp sensation are easier to dissolve in fat and alcohol than in water. Therefore, if you have too much heat, you should drink whole milk or rinse your mouth with a little oil - or have a quick drink. Unfortunately, water does the opposite, because it helps the spiciness to distribute itself in the mouth.
    7. Capsaicin is not only hot, but also very healthy. It actively lowers blood pressure and cholesterol levels, stimulates digestion, kills germs and is even contained in many warming ointments!

    By the way, you can find the hottest hits in the P&S range here:

    Tasmanian mountain pepper
    Malabar pepper

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