Tag Archives: hot pepper

Some like it Hot

While it’s not necessarily the best economic development, it is fantastic news for those of us who think the domestic palate needs radical de-sissification. For too long we’ve lived in a desert of blandness where food is prepared to coddle the most sensitive tongues. So I have to admit I was delighted to see hot sauce production rank as the 8th fastest growing U.S. industry in a recent IBIS World Special Report.

During our travels we’ve noticed the changes too. From the growing number of hot sauce bars, like Peppers of Key West, to spicy menu options that actually have some spice, our nation’s taste for heat is definitely on an upward trend.

That trend is easily explained by the glorious proliferation of ethnic cuisine making its way through the U.S. along with an expanding population of immigrants from spice loving regions. But what explains our taste for spicy food more generally?

Surprisingly, that question still confounds scientists. Spice isn’t a flavor like sweet or sour. It is pure pain, indistinguishable by the body from the kind caused by a physical burn.

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