"To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art." - La Rochefoucauld


Thursday, May 6, 2010

Trial and Error: Jalapeño Peppers... and My Pained, Burning Hands

Another important cooking lesson learned, one that will really stick with me: do not pick out the jalapeño pepper seeds with your bare hands. I've cut jalapeño peppers before, so I'm not sure why I never experienced the intense and frustrating burning sensation that occurs when the oil from the peppers gets into your skin. I imagine it's because I normally cut the seeds and interior of the pepper with a knife, while yesterday I just dug in with my fingers. Never again, my friends! Never again.

While I enjoyed the Cinco de Mayo fish tacos and sweet corn tomalitos we made, it certainly made the whole experience uncomfortable. I scoured the internet for remedies... and discovered there really are none. For every theory, there was five people saying it didn't work for them. To make matters worse, there were many people who reported going to the emergency room to get drugs. Luckily, my case wasn't that severe.

Here is a list of all the home remedies I tried... that failed:

- Vinegar
- Milk
- Sour cream
- Iced water
- Hot water
- Tomato paste
- Aloe Vera
- Rubbing alcohol
- Dish-washing soap
- Hand lotion
- First aid cream

I'm probably forgetting some. Each of them felt comfortable for a few minutes, but eventually the sensation came back. What did end up working? I downed a few tequila shots and waited it out.

In the future, I will be handling only the exterior of the jalapeño pepper and immediately washing my hands very, very well. If chopping up many peppers, I will be putting on gloves. Learn from my mistake!


  1. I always use a knife I guess...I had no clue about these peppers doing that!

    I have an award for you!

  2. Thanks!!! I'll be posting my random things soon.