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Turn Down The Heat. Just Add Milk.

From a dash of tabasco all the way up to a Carolina Reaper, almost everyone likes some spice. But did you know that whatever your pain threshold, spicy foods are not actually burning anything. They taste hot because they have chemical molecules that excite the pain receptors on your tongue — the same ones that register the sensation of temperature. Also good to know is that unlike other beverages that spread the burn and add intensity, milk turns down the flame.

Right now, one of America's hottest food trends is, well, heat. Peppers in particular are having a moment, and often it's a painful one. Here are some spicy dishes that are trending now, along with a few recipes you can fire up (or down) at home.

Milk can take the heat

  • Hot Chicken: Now a full-fledged phenomenon, the secret blend of hot spices in this Southern specialty are beloved by those who don't consider it a meal unless you're covered in sweat at the end. Enticing thrillseekers by using the world's hottest peppers — habaneros, ghost peppers and Carolina Reapers — the most infamous Hot Chicken joints not only make customers wait in line for hours, they also make them sign a waiver. Watch some very brave eaters put on gloves and take on LA's Spiciest Chicken Sandwich: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ulm2T9XiFE. And take heat levels into your own hands with this Korean Hot Chicken recipe from Chef Dennis Lee of Namu Gaji in San Francisco.
  • Chiles Toreados: Don't be fooled by the benign sounding translation of his dish from Mexico. These "Roasted Peppers" are the Serrano or jalapeño variety, served simply with salt and lime. The Chiles Toreados at one Los Angeles restaurant come with a warning label. Fans spend weeks preparing for it, building up their tolerance by eating whole jalapeño peppers. Here's how to make your own. And feel free to lower the heat by substituting sweet peppers. https://palatablepastime.com/2013/06/06/chilestoreados- roasted-hot-peppers 
  • Spicy Asian Fusion: Different flavors—and degrees of heat — come together wonderfully when Asian and Latin cuisines meet. Chili pepper, Asian BBQ seasoning and sriracha ignite this recipe for Thai Chili Chicken Taco.