Why is the spiciness from foods felt in different places?

I just ate a bag of jalapeño Cheetos (highly recommended btw) and I noticed that while they’re a little spicy hot, I feel the heat more in my throat than my tongue or throat. Why isn’t all heat felt on the tongue?

It depends on how fast the capsaicin is released and what is actually causing the heat as well. Wasabi heat gets me in the sinuses, jalapenos in the mouth, habaneros in the back of the throat, ginger all over.

I have no answer or even speculation on this. I am curious too.

I love spicy food but I have not experienced what the OP describes. Spicy food tickles my nerves wherever it goes (well…mouth/tongue mainly…throat and further through not at all).

It is interesting and I’ve noticed the same thing. Some of the Mexican chilies like chili tepin hit you hard and fast in the mouth, but it doesn’t really last that long. The chilies from the chinense species like the habanero, 7-pot, or my favorite, the naga morich, tend to hit you deeper and then the heat will actually build for 5-10 minutes.

I’ve never felt the need to eat a whole chili like the youtube showmen. But every time I’ve grown something, I’ve tried a small piece straight up. Imagine a piece 1/4 of the size of your pinkie fingernail. Sometimes that’s enough to really light you up!

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve found that I actually enjoy the milder chilies more.

There are nerves that sense things and nerves that move things. You have many nerves that sense things in your tongue, a few in your throat and in your rectum - but in general not many in other parts of your bowel (external hemorrhoids are very painful, internal ones are not). Of course, you also have a lot of sensory nerves in your hands and eyes. So don’t rub your eyes after slicing hot peppers.

As for capsaicin release, presumably much of it is on your tongue when chewing spicy snacks, and some of it gets transmitted to the esophagus both from the transmission of the food bolus to the stomach, as well as the subsequent saliva. You are lucky if you do not eventually feel it elsewhere.

Don’t have a good reply for you. But try some fresh wasabi under your tongue for a great “kick”.

Understand that most wasabi sold in US stores is not actual wasabi. Also, don’t do this if you are new to wasabi.

Real wasabi is great but hard to find (some good sushi places will have it). It is expensive though.

Most “wasabi” in the US is horseradish dyed green (maybe some mustard mixed in). It’s fine but not as good as the real thing. The plants are related though.

I have heard that real wasabi is very hard to cultivate. People have certainly tried.

That’s likely because

That’s probably because they’re not all capsaicin. Wasabi is allyl isothiocyanate, Jalapenos and Habaneros are capsaicin, and ginger is gingerol or shogaol.

I would imagine that the difference between jalapenos and habaneros is probably attributable to the difference in magnitude, as well as the release rate.

Yeah, I was scattered all over the place on that post. too many thoughts at once. Capsaicin based heat does hit slightly differently depending on the pepper, though. That may be due to how they are prepared, the size of the chunks, and what other ingredients in the sauce, what have you. Sorry for not being clear.

And, if you like Szechuan food, Szechuan peppers have hydroxy-alpha sanshool, yet another completely different flavour.

I’ve noticed that the heat from habaneros is very “tongue-forward”. I feel it on the tip of my tongue and it’s a pleasant, fruity heat. A green serrano or Thai chile, however, makes itself felt at the back of my tongue and throat, and seems to stimulate the taste buds that register bitterness, as well. Don’t like! I’m a habanero person.

All chiles, however, equally affect you place-wise the next morning.