Spicy food can be enjoyable but uncomfortable for some. The intense flavors of spices like chilies and peppers cause a burning sensation due to compounds like capsaicin. To make spicy dishes more enjoyable for everyone, starchy sides like rice, potatoes, bread, and pasta are crucial. These sides provide a break from the intensity of the spice and physically absorb the capsaicin, reducing its impact. This is a long-standing tradition in many cultures, where specific starchy sides are served with spicy dishes. So, including a bland, starchy side can balance the heat and enhance the overall flavor experience.