#foodbeast Cravings Features FOODBEAST Humor Restaurants Video

This Tasting Menu Gets Hotter And Hotter With Each Course

Imagine eating a meal that gets progressively spicier with each course. Sure, your appetizer starts tame. But when dessert rolls around, get ready for a couple million Scoville (the unit that measures how spicy a chili is) to hit your palate. Sounds like a method of torture, right? On paper, sure. But the silver lining to this scorching scenario is that it doesn’t sacrifice flavor and deliciousness at all. This is the one of a kind aspect about the WP24 restaurant’s new summer ‘Bring the Heat’ tasting menu.

Developed by Chef John Lechleidner, the Bring the Heat menu features six courses that get  progressively hotter via the chilies incorporated in each dish. For example, the appetizer, chili Dan Dan noodles, starts off with mild Fresno chilies that clock in at a manageable 8,000 Scoville. Fast forward to the last dessert course, a peach cobbler incorporating Carolina Reapers that singe meters at 2,000,000 Scoville.

“The special summer menu is designed to showcase chilis as not only a source of heat, but a source of flavor,” shared Chef Lechleidner. “Balancing the heat across multiple courses encourages guests to dine beyond their usual boundaries.”

However strong your boundaries are when it comes to spiciness will be tested, for sure. But at least you’re savoring the flavor the whole way.

The ‘Bring the Heat’ menu is only available for a limited time, up until Labor Day weekend and is $29 per person with $8 add on for the sixth dessert course.

#foodbeast Adventures Cravings FOODBEAST Restaurants SPONSORED

San Francisco’s Farmhouse Thai Just Created Spicy Volcano Cup Noodles

There’s an overwhelming feeling of independence when preparing your own Nissin Cup Noodles. We all know someone who has their own special way of preparing it, by adding an array of special spices – or even a favorite hot sauce – that will transform any cup into a personalized masterpiece.  

Regardless if you’re a novice at-home cook, or a classically trained chef, the personal connection to a meal you can cook yourself is a rewarding feeling.

For Kesem Saengsawang, owner and executive chef at Thai Farmhouse Kitchen in San Francisco’s Mission District, Nissin Cup Noodles played a significant role in his childhood and still does today.

For Saengsawang, the spicier the cup, the better – that’s what he had in mind when Thai Farmhouse Kitchen partnered with Original Cup Noodles, thus conceptualizing the Volcano Dream Cup Noodles.

After one bite, this flaming hot noodle dish will be burned into your memory forever in the best way possible. This fiery cup of steamy noods is made with a juicy slow-cooked beef rib, and pan fried noodles tossed in a spicy Thai devil sauce, with bird’s eye chili, tamarind, cumin, garlic, onion and cilantro.  

Don’t miss out on this one-of-a-kind creation which will only be available inside the All-You-Can-Eat Section at FOODBEAST’s Noods Oakland presented by Nissin Cup Noodles on April 7th. Visit for more information or to purchase tickets.

Created in partnership with Original Cup Noodles

Health Hit-Or-Miss News

Science Says Eating Chili Peppers Could Be The Key To A Longer Life

Claims that spicy foods provide health benefits have circulated for centuries. Now, scientists might be able to explain why.

In 2014, the National Center For Biotechnology Information claimed that cardamom, a spice used to make chai tea, was “linked to anti-tumor activity,” according to The Washington Post. That’s just one spice in a list of several that have been suggested to have medicinal properties.

Now, thanks to a study completed by the Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont, analyzed lifestyle data and mortality rates from more than 16,000 adults concluded that a compound in peppers has the ability to prevent factors that lead to heart disease and stroke.

In order to conduct this study, the authors used the Center for Disease Control’s National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey between 1988 to 1994, as the sample size in which to prove that the consumption of chili peppers — specifically capsaicin, the active component within them — can actually help you live longer. 

The illustration above shows a very simple depiction of where peppers contain capsaicin. It was found under the “capsaicin” hashtag on Instagram.

In short, the study found that people who regularly consumed capsaicin “had a 13 percent lower hazard of death compared to those who did not.”

Additionally, the study went on to claim that capsaicin actually acted like “an anti-obesity mechanism due to the interaction with the body’s transient receptor potential channels.” Transient receptor potential channels are different types of receptors that help regulate sensations like temperature and pressure.

Here’s an excerpt of the findings, pulled from the Discussion section of the study:

Activation of TRP vanilloid type 1 (TRPV1) appears to stimulate cellular mechanisms against obesity, by altering mediators of lipid catabolism and thermogenesis [27]. Protection against obesity leads to decreased risk of cardiovascular, metabolic and lung diseases.” — The Association of Hot Red Chili Pepper Consumption and Mortality: A Large Population-Based Cohort Study

Adding to the benefits of capsaicin, chili peppers also contain A, C, and B vitamins, all of which are essential to healthy diets.

What’s most important about these findings is that the study correlates positive reinforcement to already existing scientific studies that hypothesize that there are multiple health benefits to including spicy foods in a healthy diet.

The peer-reviewed study emphasizes that while there is no concrete evidence that eating peppers will lead to immortality — nor hold the keys to the fountain of youth — more research on this topic will only bring forth new concepts and knowledge that might benefit mankind.

“Such evidence may lead to new insights into the relationships between diet and health, updated dietary recommendations, and the development of new therapies.” 

So now, in the days where spicy challenges seem to be a popular trend, no matter how masochistic the act of eating hot chili peppers may seem, it’s safe to say there’s nothing like the sensation of a fiery mouth and a scorching, swollen set of lips that will look for anything to ease the pain.

Still, we insist on going back for more, and according to science, that’s a good thing.

Hit-Or-Miss Video

Watch A Red Hot Nickel Turn A Lollipop Into A Chaotic, Melting Mess

There seems to be a correlation between the public’s fascination with spicy foods and the act of pouring scalding hot liquid metal onto food. Whether it be crushing a few coffin cases of deathly hot Carolina Reaper Pepper infused Paqui Chips, or simply dumping molten copper on top of every food item imaginable — it seems experiments are always better when the heat is turned up.

For example, check out how this red hot nickel ball quickly turns this Tootsie Pop into a hot, melty mess in less than a minute.

This video is just one of many food-based stunts performed by the crazy kids on the CarsandWater YouTube channel. But, believe it or not, this experiment finally put to rest the confounding question of, “How many red hot nickel balls does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop,” asked by dozens of Cars and Water subscribers.

Now we know the answer. One.

Most of the Cars and Water videos involve red hot nickel balls — or RHNBs — and you should definitely not try these at home. Still, Cars and Water might actually be onto something with this RHNB theme.

Here’s some GIFs of more RHNBs melting through various food based items.

A RHNB vs. Cotton candy.

A RHNB set atop some liquid nitrogen frozen honey.

A RHNB stacked on some Oreos. Oreos were not playin’!

This experiment didn’t include a RHNB, but what’s cooler than a liquid nitrogen fueled potato gun? No pun intended.

And the best experiment of all — using a RHNB to obliterate some Peeps.

Have something in mind that you’d like to see placed against a red hot nickel ball? Leave a comment on the Cars and Water YouTube channel and see what can take the heat.

Cravings Health Hit-Or-Miss

What You Should Know About Capsaicin – America’s Favorite Poison

America is in the middle of a massive spicy food craze. Spicy food is clearly one of the hot trends, with Nashville Hot Chicken, Sriracha, and spicy challenges dominating across restaurants and the internet. While we all love (or flee from) the burning pain that this food brings to our mouths, we don’t go too much into the science of spicy, other than that something called “capsaicin” is responsible for the fiery sensation.

Found in tons of different peppers worldwide in varying amounts, this compound is one of America’s most-loved, but also least understood. We’re going to break down what capsaicin really is all about, why it makes foods spicy, and why we may crave it so much.


Capsaicin is a poison


It turns out that there’s a set of neurons that can actually be permanently damaged by capsaicin, leading to some decreases in sensory function. However, the study that found this neurotoxicity discovered this damage through injection of pure capsaicin, not ingestion in normal chili form.

Capsaicin is also a poison because it triggers inflammatory responses and heat perceptions on our tastebuds. That’s why our lips often go red and swollen when we consume spicy foods, and why we shouldn’t touch our eyes after cutting or handling especially hot chilies (or use gloves instead). Those of us who ignored that warning know the resulting pain all too well.


It also is a great antimicrobial


Capsaicin has been shown in research to act as a bactericidal agent, meaning that it has the ability to actually kill bacteria. It’s also been one of our earliest food preservatives, as many cultures across the world developed stews cooked with chilies early on to protect against food poisoning and disease. It’s a big part of why chilies are integral parts of cuisines across the planet.


Capsaicin can help us fight through pain


When we eat chilies, we trigger the release of endorphins, or pain-blocking compounds to help us get through the heat. Capsaicin triggers that sensation of heat and pain, thus causing the release of those endorphins. This process has been used to help develop pain-fighting creams and patches that use natural capsaicin.


It’s one of the natural foods of birds

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Turns out that birds lack the ability to detect capsaicin in chilies as heat, and regularly eat chilies and other plants in the capsicum family, including bell peppers. Chef Dan Barber capitalized on this to feed his chickens enough peppers to develop red egg yolks that he now serves at his restaurant.


The Scoville Unit Scale is used to measured capsaicin content


Photo: Scoville Ratings

The Scoville Heat Unit Scale is actually a measure of how many water dilutions it would take to remove the spiciness from a particular pepper. Developed by Wilbur Scoville, this method has now been replaced by faster methods that follow the same principles and measure the heat of anything spicy or in the chili/capsicum family. Bell peppers are on the low end at 0 Scoville units, with the Carolina Reaper from the infamous One Chip Challenge topping the list of chilies at 2.2 million Scoville units — which is almost as hot as law enforcement-grade pepper spray.

Pure capsaicin tops out at 16 million Scoville heat units — a ridiculous amount of pain that nobody should want to put themselves through.


Adventurous people may like spicy food more


Research has shown that personality has an effect on whether you like spicy food or not, with more adventurous people tending to love spicy food more. There’s even been psychological differences displayed between men and women on their reasonings behind the preference for spicy food. It’s possible that how you like your spicy food actually does say something about who you are as a person.


Capsaicin can help people immune to caffeine to stay awake


People who are insensitive to caffeine won’t get more energy in the morning or find it easier to stay awake after drinking a cup of coffee. Spicy breakfasts like chilaquiles can give them the kick to get started in the day since it is a poison. That heat response triggers the release of adrenaline to get your body moving or going. If you’re finding that coffee isn’t giving you that jolt you need, try eating a chili pepper as part of your breakfast. It may jumpstart the day in a better way than coffee ever could.


While capsaicin is a potent poison and incredibly spicy, it’s also got tons of benefits that we can capitalize on. We definitely have a love-hate relationship with the chili pepper because of this compound, but it’s a core part of food around the world. Capsaicin is definitely one of the most interesting and definitive compounds in culinary history.

#foodbeast Adventures FOODBEAST Video

It Was Lit: We Tried To Conquer The #KTOWNSPICYCHALLENGE

“Dude, I heard there’s this dish here in Koreatown, at this joint called Yup Dduk, that claims to be the spiciest in Los Angeles. They call it the KTown Spicy Challenge or something.”

My buddy Mike, who runs the @Koreatown Instagram handle, piqued my interest immediately with this little tidbit. If there’s anybody that knows KTown well, it was him.

When it comes to spicy food, my tongue’s threshold is that of any average mortal, with a sensitivity that likes to call it quits once it hits habanero territory. I can handle spicy food just fine, but really, I’ve never been the type to go out of my way to put myself through any sort of punishment, especially when it comes to eating. So for me to even consider putting my trusty palate through unprecedented levels of heat speaks more to my dangerous curiosity than anything.

They say its the spiciest dish in L.A., eh? Hmm, bet. I mean how bad could it actually be, right?

I enlisted the help of my good friend Wally, a well-versed foodbeast in his own right, to help me tackle the daunting task that is the #KTOWNSPICYCHALLENGE.

Pandora’s Box opened up at the corner of 6th and Normandie, in the heart of Los Angeles’ Koreatown, the location of Yup Dduk. Its specific contents? A gigantic bowl of veritable magma. Peep the fiery deets: Korean rice cakes (ddukbokki), ramen noodles, sausages, fish cake, cheese, and a lethal helping of the spiciest pepper in all of Korea, the Ttangcho pepper.


At first bite, the Ttangcho introduced itself to me assertively, smacking sense into all my left brain function, letting me know that yes, curiosity always kills cats, and that I was now clinging to just a few of those proverbial nine lives from here on out.  I’m re-thinking all known reason at this point.

But Diddy would be proud, because there ain’t no bitchassedness in these dudes. I shoveled in more of the molten lava, willing myself to go on. Each bite felt like tongue-kissing the devil while riding Rapidash bareback.

Yet to be pummeled by wave after wave of the spicy ddukbokki was quickly taking it’s toll. I look over at Wally and manage to blurt out half-meant encouragement.

“Yeah, we got 2% done bruh.” Wally’s deadpan delivery let some of that realness sink in: Ttangcho ain’t going nowhere but right through us. We were both sweating like two pigs on a spit, rotating closer and closer to our expected demise. The end was near, and were it not for a few rallying comments from our awesome viewers of this spectacle’s livestream, then our fates would have been sealed a lot quicker.

Wally and I tapped out nearly 30 minutes later, spirits singed, tongues wagging, scorched earth left in the wake of the #KTOWNSPICYCHALLENGE. It claimed two more lives that day, business as usual for L.A.’s spiciest dish.



Location: Yup Dduk LA, 3603 W. 6th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90020


Science Says NEVER Drink Water After Eating Spicy


If you ever take a bite of a fiery red pepper and need quick relief from the pain, the safe bet is usually milk, ice cream, or something to that extent. Reach for water and find out that it does absolutely nothing to help your cause.

At this point, you’re probably saying, “Duh,” but there’s actually a scientific reason why you should skip the H20.

According to a video by Reactions Everyday Chemistry, molecules in water just don’t mix well with the molecules in that regrettable spicy Indian food just had. When you think you’re reaching for relief, it’s really just spreading the pain even more.

What’s Inside Chili Peppers That Makes Us Hate Life For 10 Long Minutes?

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There’s something in chili peppers called capsaicin and it’s essentially what makes your mouth feel like it’s burning.

As soon as a food containing capsaicin hits your tongue, something called a TRPV1 receptor binds with the spiciness of the capsaicin, sending a message to your brain that you just ate something stupid and it’s going to hurt.

What Water Does

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Capsaicin has non-polar molecules in it, which can only dissolve with other non-polar molecules.

It just so happens that water is made up of polar molecules, which means it’s just making friends with the capsaicin and actually spreading the heat even more.

The video compares it to mixing water with oil.

Water is not the answer, unfortunately.

Milk’s Molecules Reduce The Heat

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The molecules in milk are non-polar, just like the spicy capsaicin. Those non-polar molecules are the key as they dissolve the capsaicin.

It’s not just the non-polar molecules, though, the casein protein in milk helps dissolve the capsaicin, as well.

Just Stay Away From Water

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Milk dissolves the painful molecules while water just spreads it out even more. You probably thought about it, now you know for sure.

Check out the Reactions video below:

h/t iflscience


STUDY: Men Who Like Spicy Foods Are More ‘Alpha Male’ Than Those Who Are Not


According to a study by scientists at the University of Grenoble, men who regularly consume chili peppers may have higher levels of testosterone, making them more adventurous, sexually active and simply more badass.

The study’s participants were made up of 114 men aged from 18 to 44. Their testosterone levels were measured via saliva samples. The men were then given a plate of mashed potatoes and given the option to add chili sauce to taste. They found that those who added the most hot sauce had the highest levels of testosterone.

Professor Laurent Begue, one of the authors of the study, told the Telegraph:

“The hormone drives men to seek thrills and new sensations, leading them to frequent more stimulating social groups and take more risks.

In this case, it applies to risk-taking in taste … It is also possible that the regular consumption of spicy food contributes to increasing testosterone levels, although so far this has only been demonstrated on rodents.”

Well gentlemen, I guess it’s time to load up on the hot sauce?

Written by NextShark‘s Sebastian Dillon