Last night I was at the 810 bowling alley in Market Common. I bit into a chicken tender and the pain was instantaneous. While the breading was warm, the chicken itself was scalding hot. The roof of my mouth was burned immediately. I rolled my eyes, knowing that the burn would linger for a couple days.
Although I would take a minor mouth burn before a canker sore (I get them really bad), there is nothing fun about burning your mouth. It causes you to curse at the food you are eating and to take a step back from the rest of the meal. Trying to get some relief with cold water only agitates the burn more. You go to sleep that night only to wake up the next morning with a couple seconds of obliviousness before you feel and remember the burn. Eating other food throughout the day is compromised by the nagging wound in your mouth. It just sucks.
Throughout my life, I have tried to take precautions against mouth burns. Some people might view these measures as “tacky” but I prefer to avoid incinerating my mouth tissue. A few of the tactics I employ…
1. Drop ice in my soup or hot liquid – Using my spoon to scoop a couple of ice cubes out of my water glass is the best way to take the guesswork out of using the tip of your tongue to test the temperature of a piping hot cup of chicken noodle soup.
2. Place an entrée that just came out of the oven into the refrigerator – Oh my sister used to hate this. Sometimes I would take my entire dinner plate and throw it into the fridge immediately after I dished up. Although it seems counterproductive to some, I try not to take any chances. After a few minutes I would take my plate out and eat the cooled food.
3. Cut the cook time in half – Ask my wife about this. If I am microwaving something, I will usually cook it for a shorter amount of time than prescribed. If potato skins are supposed to cook for two minutes, I am throwing them in there for 90 seconds. I tolerate an ice crystal or two better than I do intense heat.
I realize some of these methods might be unconventional but hopefully you can understand my distaste for mouth burns. Now I turn it over to you. Two questions: How do you treat mouth burns? What do you do to cool down a sizzling dish? Remember everyone, small bites! Don’t Blink.