A brief history of spicy food

Tuesday, 19 August, 2014 By Hanbit
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We enjoy so many kinds of chiles in our food – be it the Italian peperoncino which is pretty much the base of every Italian dish, jalapenos piled high on a burrito or cayenne in many Asian foods – a little heat in a dish acts as a flavor magnifier, just like salt or acid. When we researched the history of spicy food for the “2014  Hot & Spicy Day” we were astonished to find that hot peppers are not native to most of the countries that are now celebrated for their spicy foods! Can you imagine no spicy dishes in either Europe, China, Africa, or Southeast Asia? It’s difficult to fathom a world where some of our favorite cultural food, like Thai cuisine and Indian cuisine, did not contain wildly spicy accents. In fact, today chili peppers are so far incorporated into Thai and Indian cuisine that most locals will claim that various chili pepper varieties originated in their country.

Hot peppers are thought to have originated in the Amazon jungle of Brazil over 100,000 years ago. The peppers spread from the Amazon both naturally and by the agricultural practices of native people. It was Christopher Columbus to introduce the hot pepper to the world when he discovered them in the Caribbean in the 1600s! For some cultures it took a while to incorporate spicy chilies into their cuisine while other cultures immediately embraced the new trend.

So what types of foods did the native people make with these hot peppers, you ask? Well, one interesting thing is the spicy chocolate that the Aztecs, circa 1427-1521, enjoyed. Imagine your favorite creamy chocolate bar with a fiery kick on the end. Yum! Many companies have been bringing back the Aztec trend in recent years. Lake Champlain even has an Aztec inspired spicy chocolate bar that they sell. Interestingly, only mammals can taste the spicy part of a hot pepper and only humans have been shown to like the flavor. Lucky us!

At Scrumptious Pantry we have hot sauces that cater to every consumer, not just the “chili heads” Our hot sauces are flavor forward and use native, unmodified ingredients foraged right here in the United States. They add a small amount of heat without overpowering other flavors. Our Heirloom Hot Sauces come in three flavors: Beaver Dam (mild), American Persimmon (medium) and Chiltepin (medium). Taste our All American Heirloom hot sauces today!

You can learn more about The History of Spicy food here, here and here.

At Scrumptious Pantry we preserve the exciting flavors of rare heirloom fruit and vegetables and precious heirloom seeds. Delicious varieties put up in gourmet condiments and artisan preserves for you to enjoy at home! Because Heirloom is much bigger than just Heirloom tomatoes.

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