Friday, August 24, 2012

Hot Pepper

Last night I was making this delicious green gazpacho for dinner. It included filling a huge pot with a ton of ingredients and then blending it with our immersion blender. I was in a hurry and was chopping this up as fast as I could.

Over the weekend at the farmer's market we had picked up a poblano pepper instead of the one small green chile the recipe recommended. As Wikipedia will tell you, poblanos are mild and sweet. Being confident in my pepper knowledge, I cut it open and grabbed the seeds out just as I did with the green peppers I had just put in the soup pot. BAD IDEA.

I knew something was wrong when my lips started burning and my eyes hurt, but I chalked it up to allergies. Unfortunately, I realized that the pepper was somehow really spicy and I had it all over my hands. They were tingly/burning throughout most of the evening and seemed to be getting better until around 9 p.m. when they started burning like crazy. It was by far the worst pain I have ever had from touching a hot pepper. Well the worst I've had is a little stinging when putting on contacts, but this reminded me of getting a steam burn but all over your hands.

Aaron and I tried multiple methods to get the oil off my hands: lots of soap, lemon juice, baking soda, cortisone (bad idea), and vinegar. Finally I ended up falling asleep with my hands resting on bags of icewater. They all melted within an hour and I had to get up and get new ones and decided to take some motrin.

Luckily this morning the pain is mostly gone and I am recovering. Still a mystery as to why this poblano pepper was so hot, but thanks to Wikipedia I now know "While poblanos tend to have a mild flavor, occasionally and unpredictably, they can have significant heat."

I'll be very careful the next time a poblano is in my presence... just in case.

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