samgyetang11We’re tasting wine in Southwestern Idaho where daytime temperatures are often well over 100 degrees and the heat of the day may be at 6:00 P.M.

So I’m getting desperate for ways to beat the heat. Here’s some advice from across the Pacific:

There are less daunting methods to beat the summer heat than by wolfing down still-boiling chicken soup for lunch. But followers of a Korean tradition say that few are as effective.

Their mantra is “yi yeol chi yeol,” or “fight fire with fire,” and their weapon of choice is samgyetang, a whole young chicken or Cornish hen stuffed with glutinous rice, ginseng root, red dates and garlic, served piping hot in its own broth.

The idea is that the hot soup helps your internal body temperature match the temperature of the external environment thus making you feel cool. (Doesn’t this suggest the ideal environmental temperature is 98.6 degrees?)

It sounds counter-intuitive but there is some science backing it up.

Skeptics might ask for scientific evidence — and be surprised that some exists. A 2012 study at the University of Ottawa found that drinking warm liquids on hot days can lower body temperature more than drinking cold liquids can because it activates the body’s natural cooling system: perspiration. When sweat evaporates, some of our body heat leaves with it, making us feel cooler.

Perhaps this is why cultures near the equator like hot peppers.

At any rate, this might be worth trying, except I would have to heat the kitchen up to make the soup.