Sunday, December 21, 2008

My kind o' global warming

Apparently, folks around the world are eating more hot peppers and pouring ever-hotter hot sauces on their foodstuffs (and that just warms my heart, literally). The Economist tells us 'bout it:

Tasteless, colourless, odourless and painful, pure capsaicin is a curious substance. It does no lasting damage, but the body’s natural response to even a modest dose (such as that found in a chili pepper) is self-defence: sweat pours, the pulse quickens, the tongue flinches, tears may roll. But then something else kicks in: pain relief. The bloodstream floods with endorphins—the closest thing to morphine that the body produces. The result is a high. And the more capsaicin you ingest, the bigger and better it gets.

Which is why the diet in the rich world is heating up. Hot chilies, once the preserve of aficionados with exotic tastes for cuisine from places such as India, Thailand or Mexico, are now a staple ingredient in everything from ready meals to cocktails.

One reason is that globalisation has raised the rich world’s tolerance to capsaicin. What may seem unbearably hot to those reared on the bland diets of Europe or the Anglosphere half a century ago is just a pleasantly spicy dish to their children and grandchildren, whose student years were spent scoffing cheap curries or nacho chips with salsa. Recipes in the past used to call for a cautious pinch of cayenne pepper. For today’s guzzlers, even standard-strength Tabasco sauce, the world’s best-selling chili-based condiment, may be too mild. The Louisiana-based firm now produces an extra-hot version, based on habanero peppers, the fieriest of the commonly-consumed chilies.

Read the rest here.

Let me just say that I enjoy the hell out of the habanero-based Tabasco sauce mentioned in the above excerpt. I once poured it on a honey bun I was eatin' (you can ask Mr. Jimmy if you don't belive me).

1 comment:

Mister Jimmy said...

I testify and confirm of my own free will that the above statement concerning Mr. D'jango is true, having witnessed - in fact, suggested and encouraged said splashing of said honey bun with hot sauce.
We have evaluated this statement and do give evidence to its veracity.
(We do further state for the record that we now consume regularly quantities of hot sauce for medicinal purposes, the preferred being 'Trappey's Original', it having been recommended to us my Mr. D'jango.
Remember: "Melinda's fer dippin'; Trappey's fer sippin'!"