What makes food spicy? & how do I know it's spicy? I've got parts of my tongue made for salty, sweet & sour stuff (that's all of them right?), what about spicy?
food becomes spicy due to spices such as garlic, onions, red pepper, black pepper, salt, and others. Spicy is in the misc. section of your taste buds the location of which escapes me now...
Drax, the name of the chemical stuff that makes the food spicy is "capsaicin", I think I got the spelling right. It is also thermogenic, and contained in red pepper, tabasco and stuff like that.
Axy is correct. Capsiacin is hot for a reason, though. The plants that contain it do so because the preferred method of seed spreading is through bird poop. The big C is only spicy to mammals. Spreading through birds give the plant a wider range, and a greater chance of survival. Natural selection at work.
You can only taste 4 things, sweet, sour, salt, and bitter. Spicy is a sensation, basically a chemical burn.