What's the Deal with Spicy Food?
What’s the deal with spicy food? How is it hot — and yet also not? And how does it make masochists of so many otherwise non-masochistic people? Spicy food brings an intimate pain that, for some, just hurts so good. The pain of spiciness, a.k.a. piquance, comes from the effects of a little molecule called capsaicin (pronounced “CAP-suh-sin”), found in chili peppers of the genus Capsicum. Capsaicin also explains why spicy foods make you poop, why spicy food is good for you (sometimes), and why spicy food is bad for you (othertimes).