Beatriz Da Costa

When the innocent-looking red thing you swallowed with your kung pao chicken turns out to be a pepper with 350,000 Scoville units (in layman's terms: Ouch!), your first impulse is to reach for a glass of water. Don't. “That just spreads the heat around,” says Shawn Theriot, a quality-assurance manager and food technologist for McIlhenny Company, the maker of Tabasco Sauce. Instead, “eat a lot of bread or rice,” says Chuck Subra, chef at LaCôte Brasserie, in New Orleans, home of notoriously spicy Cajun food. Or try dairy products, like milk, sour cream, ice cream, yogurt, butter, or cheese―
the softer the better, says Theriot.

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