All posts tagged: hot chili peppers

The Agony and the Ecstasy—of Eating

While we often think of eating as a supremely pleasurable experience, there are also times when eating brings pain, which can be wholly unwelcome or fully enjoyed. Rozin defines pain as “a negative experienced state that we avoid and that we try to reduce or eliminate” (1999: 5). And yet, there are numerous instances in which we do not avoid, reduce, or eliminate painful eating experiences. From late night, drive-through tacos that leave one’s stomach a bit unsettled to that ready-to-burst feeling that follows overeating at Thanksgiving dinner, we often fail to prevent moderately painful gastric distress. Pain can also find us by accident, as we cry out when a momentary mishap of the teeth causes us to bite down on our inner cheek or when we burn our tongues on a hot soup that we are too eager to try. Specific foods, however, bring a pain that at least some of us welcome and seek on purpose. Spicy foods set our tongues and lips on fire. Pickled foods render the inside of our mouths …