Featured Cooking TipCooking BasicsHeatWhether you crave the spicy burn of hot chile peppers or
want to avoid it, it pays to know the ins and outs of chiles’ incendiary
Chile peppers get their fire from a class of
spicy compounds called capsaicinoids, the most prominent of
which is capsaicin. This compound binds to receptors on our
skin and tongues and causes that familiar burning sensation.
Here’s what you need to know to cook with chile peppers. Most of a chile’s heat is found not in its flesh but in its white pith—including the ribs. In fact (according to lab tests we conducted on jalapeño chiles), the pith contains more than 40 times as much capsaicin…