We humans can enjoy a little pain if there is a little reward that follows. Eating extremely hot chile peppers is just that. You start out with a big bite and start chewing! At first you notice the flavor and a little heat and think this is not to bad. However in just a few moments that heat starts to build higher and higher. Your senses begin telling you that this is really hot. Our bodies release endorphins into our blood stream from the pituitary gland that prevent nerve cells from releasing more pain signals to the brain (a morphine-like feeling). The sense of well being produced by the endorphin can last several hours after the burning sensation stops. This is where the term “endorphin rush” has come from.
Chile peppers are members of the Capsicum family. The particular substances that determine their heat factor is known, by those who study such things, as Capsaicinoids. The two most common are Capsaicin and Di-Hydrocapsaicin.
The variety of pepper that has the most Capsaicinoids and therefor heat, as we humans perceive it, is the Capsicum chinense. The reason for the name of this species dates way back to 1776. The Dutch guy that named it believed that they originated in China, but they do not. One of the unique things about the Capsicum chinense is the delay between the time you start eating and start experiencing the heat. By the time you realize you have bitten off more that you can handle, it’s to late. The heat will continue to build several minutes after you have swallowed or have spit it out.
To demonstrate this delayed reaction to the Capsicum chinense peppers I put together a short video on how to make a funny hot pepper eating video, listing the main components that should be included. Enjoy the heat.