Monday, February 27, 2006

Hot stuff

The Midwest is not known for spicy food. I seek it out to an extent, but I found out years ago that there's hot and there's HOT.

And then there's this. Someone has isolated and packaged pure capsaicin, the active ingredient in peppers. The result is *8000* times hotter than Tabasco sauce.

(Yes, they measure this, originally in Scoville units. It's based on how many units of sugar water it took to dilute away the "hotness". It turns out that 1 part per million of capsaicin is about 15 Scoville units)

Why develop this? Well, he has sold the stuff, but only to people who have signed disclaimers. Manufacturing it must be right up there with nerve gas in terms of personnel protection.

My favorite part of the story was why the developer started fooling with hot stuff in the first place. He discovered that the easiest way to get drunks out of his bar at closing time was to give them free chicken wings dipped in a very hot sauce. (Could it be that Buffalo wings were actually invented in NJ?)

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