Food Science - Why our Texas Original Spicy Hellburger is so Delicious
Here at Texas Chicken & Burger, we poured many hours of work to perfect our Texas Original Spicy Hellburger - a true labor of love (and heat) to craft the perfect spicy burger for spice lovers everywhere. Just take a bite of our Hellburger and you’ll understand how perfection is met by marrying our fresh, never frozen, juicy burgers with the perfect level of heat accomplished by our secret blend of spices. Here’s a guide to exactly why our Texas Original Spicy Hellburger is so delicious - as backed up by food science!
A Taste for Heat
Some scientists have theorized that human enjoyment of spicy foods constitutes a sort of “constrained risk” or even gentle masochism. This theory is posited by Dr. Paul Rozin, a psychology professor at the University of Pennsylvania. His work explains how eating spicy food can trigger a mild defense response in humans where heart rates slightly rise, breathing increases, and adrenaline levels increase. It leads to a feeling of thrilling aliveness that’s similar to the thrill people receive from riding a roller coaster, parasailing, or even watching a thrilling movie. The slight pain from spicy food helps to renew us when we know that it’s not a risk at all. Rozin further explains that this phenomenon is aided by the “mind over body principal,” where humans can enjoy activities that chemically elicit responses of distress that may not be pleasurable for less-intelligent animals - but since humans understand the lack of risk, the chemical response actually elicits major pleasure! The one known exception to this biological trend can be seen in the Chinese Tree Shrew - a small mammal that has a major appetite for spicy peppers, due to it’s evolved taste buds that make it less sensitive to capsaicin, the compound that makes hot peppers so fiery.
Flavor and Human Evolution
Some other scientists theorize that humans love spicy food due to their inherent antifungal and antibacterial uses. This means that humans have both culturally and genetically evolved to like spicy foods over the years, since they protect us from microbes - and when food is pungent, it’s a signal to our brain that it’s clean. Garlic, cumin, onion, black pepper, and thyme are all shown to be antibacterial; and the use of these spices, the scientists theorize, evolve from the human effort to stay ahead of our microbial assailants in the environment. This means that in 2019, our human desire for spicy food is hard wired to our survival instincts!
Complex Flavors of Spice
Some scientists have theorized that the reason that some humans love spicy foods is due to an increased level of papillae, the bumps on your tongue that function as tasting nerves, or taste preceptors. Some humans love spicy food because their tongues are so highly sensitive, they can taste the subtle and complex flavors within it - while some other humans lack the ability for their tongues to be such heat connoisseurs. Strangely enough, the same taste receptors that receive a thrill from spicy foods receive a similar signal from the fizziness of carbon dioxide in soda!
Health Benefits of Spicy Food
Eating spicy foods like the Texas Original Hellburger is associated with a myriad of spice-correlated health benefits including:
A lack of desire for sugar
Reduced inflammation throughout the body
Antioxidant and antimicrobial properties that boost the immune system
An increase in libido
Increased thirst, which then leads to increased hydration
Potential release of the neurotransmitter serotonin, which can relieve bad moods and sadness! No wonder eating spicy food is such a rush!