Neutralise chilli heat
On my way to work, I pass a Turkish greengrocer. His vegetables and fruit always look fresh and appetising in the displays. His peperonis, chillies and peppers in particular look good enough to eat. Sometimes I see the greengrocer scolded because passers-by nibble at the grapes without paying. Sometimes a whole apple goes with it as it passes by.
Today, as I turned the corner, a fine lady in fur strolled past the vegetable stall just at that moment. She took a small yellow pepper and popped it into her mouth in a flash. Presumably you are now waiting for the typical paprika taste. Fiddlesticks! Tears welled up in her eyes, yet she could just read the sign of the mini pepper: yellow habanero chilli, 100 g today only 3 €.
She gasped, turned red and shrieked something about burning and fire and begged for water. Since none of the other customers really understood what was going on with the woman, she stormed into the shop and craved water. She found mineral water and I could have sworn if it had been a glass bottle she would have cut off her neck. She started up, tipped half a bottle of mineral water into herself and only roared louder.
Well with fizzy water you can't neutralise the sharpness. It makes everything much worse, because the spicy substance capsaicin only spreads in the oral cavity. The advantage of all this was that her voice was no longer so shrill. Apparently she had lost control of her numb tongue.
The careless mouth-robber's next idea was a little better. She tore off a piece of pita bread and bit into it. The white bread immediately helped to reduce the burning in her mouth, but it was no real relief. A small group of onlookers had now formed around the woman. Drops of sweat were forming on her forehead. Whether from embarrassment or because of the habanero, it was impossible to say exactly.
The gaze now raced through Turkish supermarket for something useful against the brutal sharpness. She rushed to the dairy products refrigerated shelf and bit open a milk carton. As she drank the milk, for a small moment, an infinite relief could be detected on her face. Whenever she put down the cow's milk, panic spread in her eyes, relief when she drank again. Interesting facial expressions, repeated five or six times.
Finally the owner of the shop understood what had happened. Who would think that a passer-by would put a whole habanero, including the seeds, in her mouth? Well, hopefully the habanero was chewed ten times before swallowing. Otherwise there could be pain in the intestines later.
Fat: Mascarpone on toast
The Turkish greengrocer handed the chilli thief a piece of toast with mascarpone. This is the best way to neutralise the spiciness of chillies, he said. Yoghurt and curd cheese with a high fat content is also helpful. Capsaicin only dissolves in alcohol and fat. Therefore, a honey-sweet mascarpone with 80 % fat content. The toast has the effect of a cleaning cloth wiping the inside of the mouth. At the same time, the spiciness is absorbed by the fatty cream cheese and thus the burning sensation is cooled.
Unfortunately, I never found out if the trader had deliberately put the habaneros on display to stop vegetable scroungers. Nor do I know if the lady ever paid for the most precious mascarpone toast. But this lady now knows how best to neutralise chillies.
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