I always get a kick of the “outsider looking in” that becomes a convert to what most of us have known for years: hot sauce is good. Further confirmation, and an interesting discussion, can be found in this cool article from the online version of The Feast out of Nashua, New Hampshire:
To pepperheads, the pain is worth the pleasure
“A really good hot sauce takes you by the shoulders, gives you a good shake, and slaps your face to say ‘HELLO.’”
– “Condiments” by Kathy Gunst; Putnam; 1984
Hot pepper lovers are nicknamed pepperheads because their intense devotion to the spice borders on an addiction.
And in many ways, it is.
That’s because eating foods laced with hot peppers causes a chemical reaction, a form of pain stimulus, that’s followed by the release of endorphins. This endorphin rush produces a feeling of exhilaration, a euphoric high.
To put it bluntly, each blazing jolt of peppery heat is followed by a feeling of pleasure.
That sounds like a drug high to me.