The history of the chili pepper

chili peppers

Matthew Wills wrote a great piece on the long, wonderful history of the chili pepper. Straight off the bat, we get educated on something most people associate with chilis—hotness:

Not all chilis are hot. Some are mildly sweet, others comfortably warming. Used in widely different cuisines on every continent, chilis originated in the Western Hemisphere. “Chili” itself comes from a Nahuatl word.

But I prefer the hot ones. In small quantities, not super hot, and preferably in flake form. I also enjoy videos of people eating chilis such as AyyOnline and this classic.

Oh, and for anyone who wonders why water doesn’t help when you’ve eaten a chili: it’s because the water spreads the capsaicin (the alkaline chemical that produces the burning sensation) across your mouth. Therefore you need an acid to neutralise it; drinks like milk (which contains lactic acid) and any citrus juice will help.

Related: Hellboy Right Hand of Doom hot sauce, the world’s hottest gummy bear and Gabrielle Union eating hot wings on Hot Ones.

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