Q: Hello Dave,
Last night I was at a bar and the bartender threw out a claim that I had to question. She said the reason jalapeños are spicy, and differently spicy than most other chiles, is because there are tiny particles within the jalapeño that cause very tiny lacerations on the tongue and inside of the mouth when eaten. And when the juices from the chile come across, these lacerations create the burning sensation we feel. She also claimed that this is the reason we feel a burning on the outside of the lips as well. Is there any validity to this claim?
Thanks for your time,
John in NYC
A: Hello John:
This bartender’s theory is patently false.