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Dave's Fiery Front Page

Exploring the World of Spice and Smoke
Tags >> history

Why Chiles Conquered America

Posted by: Dave DeWitt

Tagged in: history , fiery foods , chile peppers

I am constantly asked to explain the exponential growth of interest in chile peppers and the boom in fiery foods products in the U.S. over the past two decades. How did a meat and potatoes America become enamored of hot sauces, salsas, spicy snack food, chili con carne, and hundreds and hundreds of other fiery foods? First, we must look at the historical trends for why cooks add spices to their foods in the first place.  The article is here.

Map of North America, 1641

Why Cooks Spice Up Their Foods

Posted by: Dave DeWitt

Tagged in: science , history , chile peppers

 There are a number of explanations for why we have added spices such as chile peppers to our foods over the tens or hundreds of thousands of years that we have been cooking. They are:

--Spices make foods taste better.

--The "eat-to-sweat hypothesis"-eating spicy foods makes us cool down during hot weather.

--To disguise the taste of spoiled food.

--Spices add nutritional value to food.

--The antimicrobial hypothesis: spices kill harmful bacteria in food and aid in food preservation.

Which of these explanations are correct?  Read my article about it, here.



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