The Second Version

28/05/07

Quasi-science at Home: Hotness of Chilli Seeds

A frequent claim is that chilli seeds will add hotness to the recipes in which chillies are used, but other sources state that seeds contain virtually no capsaicin.

So in the interest of science and advencement of human knowledge, I decided to experiment myself.

First, I bought a few Bulgarian Carrot chillies - the shop had no good Scotch Bonnet left, and I like the look of this other variety. They are very hot but not as scorching as the Habanero and relatives.

So I sliced one chilli in half lengthwise and carefully extracted the seeds - wearing latex gloves. Then I wiped the seeds with a paper towel; washed them thoroughly in a fine-mesh colander using a drop of dish detergent to remove all capsaicin from the seed surface. Finally, I rinsed the seeds and patted them dry.

The core of the experiment was to actually taste the seeds. I tasted 4 taken randomly from the heap I obtained; I first mulled them around my mouth and then crushed the seeds with my teeth. They had no noticeable pungency.

For comparison, I also tasted a small piece of the fruit wall, taken roughly from the middle: it was definitely hot. A piece of the placenta instead tasted very hot.

Conclusion: chilli seeds do not add any noticeable hotness.

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