About two hours after chopping up some homegrown jalapeno peppers for a bean dish, the index finger of my left hand, and parts of the thumb and middle finger, are burning. Repeated hand-washing does not seem to help, but grabbing a bottle full of cold water does. I have chopped up plenty of hot peppers in the past, but this is the first time this has ever happened to me.
It seems that homegrown peppers are unusually hot this year. Normally I can simply eat jalapenos, enjoying a mild tingle. But when I ate a tiny bite of pepper at a friend's house a week ago, it burned for a while.
Maybe there is something about the weather that makes the plants make more capsaicin, or maybe the people selling seeds switched to a hotter variety. Either way, I am now acutely aware of the folly of humans who make a sport out of eating a compound that plants use as a chemical weapon.