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So, that's why that hurt so much

A few weeks ago I made a pot of vegetarian chili. I've done this
successfully several times before. I've gotten in the habit of grabbing
some peppers from a basket at my Stop&Shop that was (according to the
person helping me) labeled "Assorted Hot Peppers." It comes out spicy,
but is generally quite good.

However when I made it a few weeks ago, I could tell things were
going badly by the time I was done chopping things. My hand had started
to burn. I quickly washed off the oil, but it kept burning and
increasing in intensity for a couple of hours. For reasons now unclear
to me, I chose to finish making the chili and eat some. It was really
tasty, but my eyes were watering and it was challenging to finish a
bowl. And really eating more than one bowl in a day was highly

I've discovered the problem. I asked about the peppers when I was in
the store today. That basket has now been relabeled "scotch bonnet
peppers." Based on my own experience, I think its contents changed too:
those "assorted" peppers of the past were quite good. For myself,
6-scotch-bonnet chili is a bit much and is unlikely to be intentionally repeated.


Heh. Peppers in most grocery stores seem to be labeled at random, except bell peppers. At least the major variations in heat are mostly accompanied by obvious variations in shape.
I have helped people in the past at grocery stores because the labels tend to be not very aligned with the actual peppers. And people looking for poblanos do not want serranos.

Worst two for me: dumping a pound of cayenne pepper into the bottle at a coop I lived in. It puffed into my face. My nose and above my lip felt on fire. The only thing that helped was putting yogurt on my face and leaving it there for 1/2 hour. The other: rubbing my eye after using my hands to tear apart oily peppers in my Chinese lunch. It took awhile before I could open my eye enough to pry out my contact.

September 2019

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