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Apr 10, 2011 01:24 PM

Favorite type of heat?

Talking heat, as in spicy heat.

I could be wrong, but I think there are 3 very broad categories of heat when it comes to food.

1. Chile (or chili) pepper heat, where you get a hot burning sensation.

2. Sichuan peppercorn heat, where the sensation is a numbing feeling.

3. Horseradish or wasabi heat, where the the magic is felt along the nasal passages and can be best described as "throat clearing"

I personally like all three, but if I had to choose, it might be the peppercorn heat that I'd most miss if it was taken away from me.


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  1. Really good New Mexico chiles give a glow of rich chile flavor and a good nose blowing heat.
    I used to have to grate the familie's horeseradish (xren in Russian.) I'd sit in the breeseway w/ my snorkling mask on and grate like Hell.

    1. Where do you class black pepper, mustard, and ginger?

      2 Replies
        1. re: paulj

          While I think black pepper brings on more of the heat of #1, mustard and ginger are more #3 - pungent rather than spicy.

        2. I really like the combination of chile and Sichuan peppercorn. As an aside, when ordering a Sichuan dish that is usually stir-fried, the dish usually comes loaded with sliced dried chiles - way out of proportion to the other ingredients IMHO. I sure can't eat but a fraction of these chiles, but do folks in Sichuan actually eat most or all of those chiles?

          2 Replies
          1. re: bulavinaka


            Makes the rice go down so much easier.

            1. re: ipsedixit

              This may be true for them, but I'd be seriously worried about how things would feel coming out... :)

          2. Man That is like picking which kid is your favorite! Can't be done.

            1. It's gotta be chickens
              or perhaps those strong beefers
              which blend to the baliance
              of coursely chopped heart.

              Lovely meat it is.

              Dances to couer.
              even chopped.