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.

Hi, it's Luke, the editor of Cultrface! Why not subscribe to my Patreon and support the blog?

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