back to article Lip-wobbling boffins: Eating Chinese food is like kissing a vibrator

Food boffins have found that eating Szechuan pepper, an ingredient commonly found in Chinese food, produces the same sensations as those experienced when using a vibrator. So says a paper titled Food vibrations: Asian spice sets lips trembling from the Proceedings of the Royal Society: Biological Sciences. The University …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
Silver badge
Joke

If we can figure out why Szechuan pepper produces the same response from our nerves as mechanical vibration, we may get a step or two closer to figuring out what makes us hurt

Presumably that'd be accidentally picking up the pepper instead of a vibrator?

8
0
Silver badge
Joke

Accidentally?

I thought they were after a biological sex toy - no waste of batteries and after use compost it.

3
0
Anonymous Coward

Haha, sorry but Szechuan pepper is a peppercorn not a long one likely to be mistaken for that purpose.... although it does make you wonder what new products the peppercorn could be used in..

1
0
Silver badge

That'll be why Ken Hom

always looked so happy?

"It's so aromaaaatic!"

2
0

Re: That'll be why Ken Hom

And "It's nice and lovely!"

0
0
Silver badge
Joke

Just don't try this at home....

by adding said pepper to the outside of your vibrator.

1
0
Silver badge

Re: Just don't try this at home....

If you've ever made a quick bathroom visit, but forgotten to wash your hands after preparing some chilli peppers, you'll know not to do that. I'll never do it again!

5
0
Silver badge

Re: Just don't try this at home....

I've heard that you can get "warming" lubricants that have a dash of capsaicin in them...

So I've heard anyway...

0
0
Nym

Re: Just don't try this at home....

*You're a man. Now just think how I know...

0
0
Silver badge

Housewifes dream

AstroGlide and Szechuan pepper

3
0
Silver badge

This Ig Nobles have been awarded!

Nothing about peppers this year, but now you can find out why onions make you cry.

1
0

"Kissing the vibrator"

Were there any extra curricular activities?

We need to know and see the video!

1
0
Bronze badge

But, surly the Cameron Administration would rather you didn't find out....

0
0
Silver badge
Terminator

Don't call me "Surly"...

The Cameron Administration have always been surly...

1
0
Silver badge

Dip your wick in pepper/chilli

What could possibly go wrong?

0
0

For all the chilli jokes

Sichuan peppers are more like small peppercorns than chillies, they are not capsicum based and don't produce the burning sensation of chillies.

They've got a sensation described in Mandarin as "mah", as opposed to chillies which are "lah". You often mix the two in Sichuan food.

Oh and they're not phallic in any way, they're small, slightly spiky red/brown spheres about 1-2 mm across. You can happily use them and then touch any other part of your body you care to mention, they're used dried and don't produce much oil.

4
0

Re: For all the chilli jokes

There's always someone who'll spoil everything by using facts...

5
0
Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: For all the chilli jokes

Mmmmmm Mah Lah, makes my mouth water!

Although the numbing effect of the peppercorns could have some uses I am sure..

0
0
Silver badge
Coffee/keyboard

I hope they used a new device.

"Did the last volunteer have a beard?"

2
0
IT Angle

I assumed the tingling was due to a mild anaesthetic effect. The sensation is the same as getting an aesthetic at the dentists just as it's just starting to kick in or wear off.

0
0
Silver badge

...There is a serious point to this research, because tingling is something often associated with pain. If we can figure out why Szechuan pepper produces the same response from our nerves as mechanical vibration, we may get a step or two closer to figuring out what makes us hurt. ...

Or, indeed, what makes us enjoy it.

Closely followed by an extensive study of the German S&M scene. Interestingly, current legislation defining legal sex habits says something to the effect that you are not allowed to appear to be causing any actual harm to anyone.

0
0
Silver badge

So... since every fool knows that the moderate doses of capsaicin as found in culinary chillies are not harmful, is this a form of S&M "torture" that's legal?

Just curious. About the law.

0
0
Silver badge

If they're interested....

I can start compiling a list of things that hurt.

If they get me a grant, I can provide documentation and narrative.

0
0

was that with new or old batteries:

0
0

Did they just happen to have one knocking about or did someone bring in one from home?

0
0
Coat

@ Wize

"Did they just happen to have one knocking about or did someone bring in one from home?"

A researcher's lady friend tossed it out, because it chipped her teeth.

0
0
Bronze badge

Having eaten some.....

although only the tiniest taste of a Szechuan pepper based sauce on a tea spoon....

I then couldnt breathe until I had downed a litre bottle of "Pearl River", and use of my voice only returned after a second bottle of Pearl River.

Needless to say, the locals were rather amused at my reaction.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Having eaten some.....

Yeah, that is amusing ^_^ Heh. Tendermouth :D

I wouldn't worry about it though: it seems like most "Szechuan' cooking in Western countries is anything BUT - no Szechuan peppers, they substitute crushed red and chili sauce instead because it is both cheaper and far easier to prepare (it turns out that I just experienced one of my best Kung Pao's ever and it was finally made properly; one of the workers told me it takes days to prepare Szechuan peppers for cooking).

0
0
Bronze badge

There is a serious po[r]n to this research, because . . . Szechuan pepper produces the same response from our nerves as mechanical vibration.

Hot stuff!

I once met a woman who said Wasabi was an aphrodisiac. Unfortunately, I thought she said "Wahabi."

0
1

Really??

"If we can figure out why Szechuan pepper produces the same response from our nerves as mechanical vibration, we may get a step or two closer to figuring out what makes us hurt"

People are so stupid now we need to tell them how they are hurting themselves and how to prevent it? Or are you really saying we need to know *why* putting your hand in fire smarts? I believe when you meet someone who just smacked a finger with a hammer, explaining why that hurts will probably get you punched in the face. I feel the same is true for most things that hurt, knowing the technical details is hardly going to make being hit in the face with a cricket ball any more desirable, and explaining why it hurts is probably going to end badly.

0
0
Silver badge

Re: Really??

A better understanding of the mechanisms of pain may help the development of ways to alleviate chronic pain and develop analgesics.

The fact that you missed this fairly obvious point may be due to your having been hit in the face with a cricket ball.

4
0
Silver badge

Re: Really??

They already make hot pepper chewing gum as a medical aid for people suffering painful mouth ulcers arising from chemotherapy. The "hot" sensation blocks the pain sensation.

I've occasionally thought it might find a wider market as a sort of confectionery.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

"If we can figure out why Szechuan pepper produces the same response from our nerves as mechanical vibration, we may get a step or two closer to figuring out what makes us hurt."

Pain hurts, DUH!

1
0
IT Angle

third

In 2003 I couldn't prepare ma po dofu (pockmarked grandma's tofu) in the US because SP was illegal to import. We speculated why, the two most plausible answers were

- it seriously inhibits dog's smelling ability (and you can't let those criminals get away ... barf, barf, howl)

- some people use it to lose weight

Now, finally, a third - protect the vibrator industry from cheap Chinese fakes?

0
0

Paralytic

Ah yes - I well remember a Chinese lady in Mao Xian ( the home of the Sichuan pepper) suffering temporary facial paralysis and partial blindess after a wild night on the old ma la (and no, no bai jiu involved at that point).

0
0

This post has been deleted by its author

This topic is closed for new posts.

Forums