Doing an informative speech on peppers for a class

PunkRotten(9b)January 16, 2014

Hi,

I decided to do an informative speech on peppers for one of my classes. I have to hit 3 points to talk about. I was gonna structure it by starting with some history and talk about some of the species, then was gonna talk about growing them, finally was gonna talk about eating them, describing flavors, health benefits etc.

I am even planning on bringing a bunch of different peppers and talk about them as well and even asking for volunteers to try them. Anything I should add or take out?

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esox07

Make sure you take a few of the super hots for samples. There is always one or two bada$$ guys in the class that think they can handle anything. Oh, and make sure you have a camera handy.
bruce

    Bookmark   January 16, 2014 at 8:09PM
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tomt226

Have anybody that decides to eat a superhot sign a release before doing so. It'll protect you legally, and introduce a good "fear factor."
You could also slice some pepper samples in very small pieces and put'em on toothpicks so they won't get capsaicin on their fingers, which could cause additional discomfort elsewhere.
Take a gallon of milk and some cups too. Have a trashcan handy too.
This is gonna be a hoot...

    Bookmark   January 17, 2014 at 6:32AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

I think you're on the right track.

1. Origin of peppers - the Americas
1a. How the seeds spread - birds (immune to capsaicin), and the early Humans who made use of the peppers.

2. The Global Spread of Peppers - "hot spots," if you will - and how certain peppers were transported by the Spanish and others to far regions of the world. Use some specific examples - Habanero identifies with Havana, Cuba, the generic name Thai chile identifies with various southeast Asian countries, the Bhut Jolokia and the Naga identified with India, et cetera. Briefly describe how those peppers are used for certain dishes or medicine.

2a. Talk about how the chile continues to travel and become associated with geographical regions today: the "Hatch" chile, the Dorset Naga, and the Carolina Reaper, for example,

3. Describe use in food, sauces, powders. Describe health benefits. Describe also the phenomenon of the "chile head" who seeks out ever hotter varieties, but also looks for unique flavors that contribute to the pleasure of eating peppers.

4. Samples of peppers. Get a waiver, yes. Trashcan, yes. Paper towels, yes.
4a. Type up a questionnaire to keep the sampling focused: ask participants to describe the aroma before tasting. Ask them to taste for flavors - sweet, salty, sour/bitter, and make a comparison to other foods/fruits they've had.

Good luck! It should be a lot of fun.

Josh

    Bookmark   January 17, 2014 at 11:11AM
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esox07

I knew the teacher in Josh would chime in on this one. Looks like an outline a guy could eat up a whole class day with. I would actually like to see a video of the speech....
Hint!

Bruce

    Bookmark   January 17, 2014 at 11:19AM
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TFortune(7a North AL)

Perhaps an addendum to 2a would be environmental factors that lead to the propagation of peppers in these other regions. Until I got into growing peppers and did some research on them, I was under the assumption that hot and dry was the best environment for growing the hottest peppers (as I just associated the southwest USA/Mexico with hot peppers) but most of the hottest of the hot seem to be indigenous to tropical/subtropical climates, ie southeast Asia, the Carribean, and India...

For number three, along with discussing the phenomen of the chilehead and the quest for ever hotter peppers, you could also mention something about the propensity in the last few years for the record to fall on a fairly rapid basis, as more and more people get in on the challenge of breeding hotter peppers and the exotic superhots get crossed and recrossed to create ever hotter peppers.

And I would definitely mention that the Bhut Jolokia is used as elephant repellant in India, as well as being a primary ingredient in some of their experimental chemical grenades there, as well... It really hammers home the concept of just how hot some of these peppers are to anyone who doesn't understand... Plus, added bonus, it ups the "test of manliness" level for those who are gonna try it, so maybe it'll encourage some hilarity as well...

    Bookmark   January 17, 2014 at 11:33AM
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PunkRotten(9b)

Thanks guys some really good info here. Definitely going to use some of it. We have to do an intro and conclusion. Originally, I was gonna lay various peppers on a table and look at them, then look at the audience, look a little confused and then grab a pepper and eat it. Cause they have no idea what the speech will be about. But then I thought it would be better to do this towards the end and ask for volunteers to try them. For the intro I think I will just tell a quick story about how I got into plants and peppers. But for the conclusion I am a little stuck. I am thinking about eating one of the hot peppers as the conclusion. Or what do you guys think?

    Bookmark   January 17, 2014 at 1:02PM
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esox07

Yah, eat a banana pepper for the conclusion then ask if anyone else wants to try a pepper. If they ask which are which and which ones are hot, tell them: "That was all covered in the speech, weren't you listening?" and then hand them a bhut. Nah, not really. Don't mislead anyone. Be upfront. In fact, encourage a couple girls to taste the VERY mild peppers and then some guy will walk up and ask for the hottest one. Give him one last warning and then point to the Bhut-Scorpion-7 pot, whatever. Probably will be the end of speeches for the period.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2014 at 1:12PM
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tomt226

TFortune,
Yep, Bhuts do repel elephants. Haven't seen one around here since the Pleistocene...

    Bookmark   January 18, 2014 at 6:10AM
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sandysgardens

When I went back to school a few years ago, I did my informational speech on Peppers. I have to say the class really got into it and the samples. Samples included, a variety of peppers, hot sauce, salsa, stuffed. I had chips to go along with them as well as milk...

I spoke of the pepper origin, capsaicin & how they're rated, health benefits, pepper uses and finished with questions and sampling. We did my speech last so everyone could come up check out the peppers, sample, etc. One gal took all the left over peppers home, She's originally from South Africa and was very excited to bring home some heat.... No waivers needed - taste at own risk.....

    Bookmark   January 18, 2014 at 8:08AM
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esox07

Quote: Posted by TomT226 8 (My Page) on Sat, Jan 18, 14 at 6:10
TFortune,
Yep, Bhuts do repel elephants. Haven't seen one around here since the Pleistocene...
==============================================
Damn things show up every spring around here, right after the Aphids and don't leave until the first Bhuts start to ripen.

Bruce

    Bookmark   January 18, 2014 at 10:55AM
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PunkRotten(9b)

Thanks for that, Sandy. I didn't think about sauce, salsa and other examples. I will consider them. I am about to head to a few ethnic stores around here and see what I can find.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2014 at 3:37PM
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tomt226

esox07,
Yeah, we got the same problem with chupacabras down here, especially during the jackalope fawning season...

    Bookmark   January 19, 2014 at 5:56AM
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esox07

TomT226, Neem oil, keeps both those pests away....Sevin Dust if they are persistent.
Bruce

    Bookmark   January 19, 2014 at 11:07AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Bruce, hehehe, called me on it ;-)

Tfortune, yes indeed. I totally forgot about the horticultural section. How to grow chiles, and the different environments in which they thrive. Great reminder.

Josh

    Bookmark   January 19, 2014 at 1:51PM
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tomt226

esox07
Damn jackalopes are too fast to dust or spray. I have to wear fiberglass snake leggings 'cause the bucks try to hook me while out in the pepper patch...

    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 6:18AM
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PunkRotten(9b)

Hey guys,

my speech was today and it went really well. I got the most points out of everyone. The instructor said I impressed him and he gave me 5 bonus points. I got in a lot of info but had to trim down some because there was a time limit. At the very end I let everyone know that water is useless to soothe a pepper burn and informed them that milk, ice cream, bread etc is a better choice. I finished it off by eating a habanero whole.

One guy even commented that the only pepper he knew of was Jalapenos (Russian guy), and a few people thought that the habanero I ate was the hottest in the world. I even informed them in the speech about really hot peppers and their scoville units compared to jalapenos and habaneros. So I corrected them that it isn't. All in all, was a great time doing the speech on one of my favorite things to grow and eat.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2014 at 6:33PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Great job! How was the habanero? ;-)

Josh

    Bookmark   January 22, 2014 at 7:41PM
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PunkRotten(9b)

Not as hot as I thought it would be. Two reasons for this. I eat peppers a lot, almost daily. I have gradually gone hotter and hotter (But not habanero hot) and so that has conditioned me. In other words it allowed me to handle the heat better than say, someone who rarely eats hot stuff.

Another thing, these were store bought habaneros so I believe these were on the lower end of their scoville rating. I have eaten habaneros in salsa prior but never by itself. I tested one two days before doing it for the class. I ate the whole thing, seed and all, and waited 5 mins before I took a swig of milk. I don't think I really needed the milk. The only reason I drank it was because I could feel the burn of the habanero in my chest as it was going down.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2014 at 9:07PM
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esox07

Good job.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2014 at 9:18PM
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tomt226

PunkRotten,
Thanks for the update. I remember when I planted my first batch of mild TAMI jals, and would take'em to work in my lunch box and eat with my sammies. That's when everybody thought jals were HOT. I'd also take some regular jals too, and when somebody would ask for one, I'd give'em one of those and LMAO while they sweated and cussed me out....

    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 6:16AM
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