This Saturday August 19th is National Hot and Spicy Food Day. It’s a day dedicated to eating spicy foods, particularly of international origin. Since we’re all about international cuisine this is your chance to have an excuse and grab something a bit more spicy! But before we talk about what we have on the menu that has a kick to it we thought we’d share two amazing facts: the Scoville Scale and how eating spicy food can give you something like a “Runner’s High.”
Godfather of Heat: Wilbur Scoville
Ever wondered how spicy one dish is compared to another? Well, that’s what Wilbur Scoville answered in 1912. Named after him, the Scoville Scale, determines how many equal parts of sugar water are needed to a ground chilli pepper until no distinguishable heat can be tasted. If you’re wondering what chilis have the highest rating on the Scoville scale they include specimens like the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion and famed Ghost Pepper. These chilis exceed one million Scoville units compared to a typical habanero which is around 100,000 units.
Spicy Food… the Foodie’s version of the Runner’s High
Besides ranking the food where does that painful burning associated with the consumption of spicy food come from? Well, it’s from compounds known as capsaicinoids, the most well-known of which is capsaicin. Surprisingly, their “hotness” or “spiciness” is not a taste but rather a sensation. When these compounds reach the tongue, they cause your brain to think it’s being burned even though there is no real heat present. When your body senses pain somewhere like the tongue the brain responds by releasing another type of neurotransmitter known as endorphins. Endorphins are the body’s natural way of relieving pain by blocking the nerve’s ability to transmit pain signals. Additionally, the neurotransmitter dopamine, responsible for a sense of reward and pleasure, is also released. So in essence, when you eat large amounts of spicy food it triggers a sense of euphoria similar to a “runner’s high”.
What’s Spicy on the Blue Angel Café
So, when you come in to celebrate spiciness and get your “Foodie High” on be sure to order one of these spicy dishes:
Piri Piri Ribs
The St. Louis style pork ribs are seasoned with an African-Style Piri Piri spce that is then covered with a slightly sweet BBQ mango glaze served alongside mashed potatoes and grilled veggies. A perfect dish for any rib lover that likes it spicy.
Our vegetable coconut curry is a flavorful dish that is served with quinoa. We also give you the option to add tofu, chicken or shrimp to the tasty concoction.
If either of these dishes don’t float your boat don’t worry we’re all about satisfying our customer’s wants so don’t hesitate to ask us to customize one of our other dishes to make it just how you like it. Happy Spicy Food!