Somehow I ended up reading about chili peppers. Apparently, there is a special measurement scale – Scoville scale – which measures how hot the pepper is. The funny thing is that it wasn’t based on any machines or some highly controlled lab environment. Instead, it used the simple human tounge. Yes, that’s right – a few guys were tasting the mix of pepper, sugar and water. Sounds very unscientific, but it is actually not. Human tounge is a very sensitive tool and can feel very small amounts of the pepper.
Anyway, if you want to read about it yourself, there is a good site about chili here. It has plenty of information about chili peppers. One can learn the structure of the chili pepper, find out what is the hottest part of it, how peppers are used in medicine, how the “heat” thing works, and, most importantly, how to help oneself quickly to get rid of the burning in the mouth.
Additionally there are a couple of nice resources here and here. These will complete the education with receipts of the food to cook with peppers and tips on how to grow some peppers of your own. And, in case I missed anything, the Wikipedia article should complete it.