AUSTIN, Tex. — A report from the Eternal Minister of Chilies and Dubious Anthems published in May 2014 finds that freezing chili peppers for extended periods of time does not affect the heat (or hotness) experienced when consuming or cooking with those same chilies even months after initially freezing.
Full details of the report and two recipes
I would like to report that my ministry has spent the last several months rigorously attempting to determine whether there is any discernible pattern in chili heat reduction as a factor of time spent in the freezer. The final results are fascinating, and very pertinent to Ladonian winter survival strategies.
— Walter Ehresman, Eternal Minister of Chilies and Dubious Anthems
The Test Chilies
- BHUT JOLOKIA CHOCOLATE (fumes from fresh pods knock buzzards from the sky)
- NAGA MORICH (burns the cornea and iris when looked at)
- TRINIDAD SCORPION (vital to wash hands before going to the bathroom after handling)
- MORUGA SCORPION (may lead to professional gasps during subsequent colonoscopy)
- FATALII (tasty, but don’t really register after consuming chilies listed above).
Test chilies were rinsed, de-stemmed and placed in a paper (not plastic!) bag in the freezer in late September 2013. The frozen pods were then used (whole) periodically over a period of seven months in the following two strictly-controlled environments:
Test Environment #1–Death Sauce:
Place the following in a vigorous blender:
- 3 large tomatoes;
- 2 Mexican tomatillos;
- 7 gloves of fresh garlic;
- 1/8th of a red onion;
- 3-4 green onions;
- 1.5 fingers of lemon juice;
- 1.5 fingers of lime or key lime juice;
- 1 small bachelor-sized can of sliced carrots;
- 1/2 bunch of fresh cilantro (leaves only);
- 4 test chilies (of the same type).
Test Environment #2—Fire Spaghetti:
Simmer for at least two hours, and then pour over pasta which was itself poured over a slab of Texas garlic toast:
- 2 lbs. ground buffalo meat (well-browned);
- 1 bottle Classico Spicy Tomato spaghetti sauce;
- 4 fingers of Wishbone French dressing (the thick orange stuff…..no t the diet version!);
- 5-7 tomatillos (chopped; will cook into sauce);
- 10 cloves of fresh garlic (diced);
- 1/4 red onion (diced)
- 1 red bell pepper;
- a healthy squirt of Sriracha rooster sauce;
- a generous dollop of Yucatan habanero sauce (orange, green or XXX)
- an imprudent sprinkling of bhut jolokia powder;
- a big ol’ shake of cayenne powder;
- a butt-load of lemon pepper;
- a modicum of garlic powder;
- a heavy-handed assault of Hatch chili powder;
- a skosh of hot Madras curry powder;
- a titillating amount of cumin powder;
- an asexual amount of coriander;
- an immaterial amount of Italian seasoning;
- a wee dram of whatever the cook is drinking;
- small dash of bitters; and
- 4 test chilies (of the same type).
The Testing Process
With the Eternal Minister acting as the tasting agent, and ministerial cohort Larry King (also of Austin, Texas) acting as a control, groups of test chilies were vigorously and repeatedly subjected to the two test environments in a variety of weather conditions. It should be noted that certain Austin weather conditions create an ambient heat within the test area than was not effectively alleviated through the available climate control technology.
Test chili heat was gauged using a complex formula which factored in such variables as the number and pungency of expletives used during and after the test session, as well as liters of sweat produced and the amount of time before sense of taste returned. Susceptibility of the mouth-heat to alcohol-based reduction strategies was also measured.
At the conclusion of the seven-month test run, the ministry tabulated the results and conducted an in-depth analysis of the resulting data. Following this review, the ministry was forced to conclude that you just can’t tell how damn hot a chili will remain when used after freezing. Variety of chili, as well as length of time in the freezer, appears to be non-determinant of the subsequent heat. Some test chilies proved to be merely hot enough to cause spontaneous outbursts of Tourettes-like cursing for a period of 1-2 hours, while others went further to cause alarming physical side-effects in even the most experienced test subjects for a period approaching 24 hours.
It should be noted that all test chilies produced the desired post-consumption euphoria triggered by the release of natural endorphins (not unlike how the body deals with serious physical trauma such as shark attack or Bulgarian Jumping Spider bite).
So (you may ask) when developing survival strategies for the Ladonian winter, should you freeze dangerous and quasi-legal chilies to help you endure the months of darkness and willie-shrinking cold? The ministry answers with an unequivocal “Yes!”, but with the important caveat that less-experienced chiliheads should spend the warmer months of the year consuming less radical peppers in order to extend their tolerance to a point that will sustain the winter consumption of ghost chilies, North Carolina Reapers, etc. without causing undue gastric break-down.