Feeling Hot! Hot! Hot!

Your mouth is burning, your eyes are watering and you're sweating ... but some people love it! Watch this video about chillies and find out why they are spicy for us, but a bird can eat them just fine.


Do the preparation task first. Then, watch the video and do the exercises. Remember you can read the tapescript at any time.


Professor Sue Hartley: This chilli comes from Bangladesh, originally, and it’s called the ghost chilli. And this is its British relative, the Dorset Naga. And this comes in at an eye-watering, mouth-burning one million Scoville heat units! But we’re now going to test its effects.

I’m not even going to touch this thing! I’m going to put a glove on. And now, do you fancy a big one, Adam, or shall we go for a small one?

Adam: Maybe the smallest one you can find on there.

Professor Sue Hartley: So, how are you feeling, Adam?

Adam: That’s quite hot!

Professor Sue Hartley: I can smell it from here! Chillies contain capsinoids, a kind of chemical. Now, each chilli has a different mix of these chemicals and the ghost chilli … what happens is it takes a while for it to get to its worst effect, actually, Adam … you know, it’s going to get quite a lot worse. I should have mentioned that before, shouldn’t I? But no. It’s much more fun this way, isn’t it? Very hot, are you hot? Yes, you feel quite hot! Unlike Adam, who’s suffering, Barry loves chilli! So why is it that Barry can eat chillies but Adam can’t? Do you know why you’ve been picked on, Adam?

Adam: No!

Professor Sue Hartley: Well, the reason is that Adam ends up crushing the chillies with his molar teeth, and that means that it stops the seeds – thank you, Barry! – it stops the seeds spreading. So, the chilli doesn’t like Adam very much, as you can possibly tell, and it’s exacting its revenge. Now, Barry swallows the seeds whole, and in fact he actually does better than that because he can poo them out somewhere far away, and that means that the chilli can use Barry to spread its seeds. So, the chilli likes Barry and hates Adam. So, I think actually we’d better let you go and put your head in a bucket of yoghurt or something. But don’t worry, there’s only another two hours of suffering and then you’ll start to feel better. So, thank you very much, Adam. We’ll let you go and recover!

© Channel 4


Is spicy food popular in your country? Do you like spicy food?

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Submitted by qcr7eren on Sun, 06/05/2022 - 18:40

Im Live in turkey so spicy foods are a popular in my country we can eat tolot of spicy foods

Submitted by Ira1321 on Mon, 11/29/2021 - 12:21

I live in Russia and I think that spicy food is not popular here, for example, as in Asia, but I prefer spicy food.
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Submitted by WriterRafia120 on Sun, 10/11/2020 - 07:17

I'm a Bangladeshi Bengali girl. So spicy foods are a culture of our country. We have to eat a lot of spicy foods, and I really love it!
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