Spice is our life. We like our food to be fiery and spicy with ample flavoring. Thai, Indian, Mexican, Chinese and Ethiopian cuisine can be as peppery as a fireball with ample seasoning. Some people love to take up the spicy cuisine challenge and explore the various options available!
Restaurateurs lure people with their crazy challenges. One Indian restaurant in UK served the world’s hottest curry called the ‘Widower’ curry which was prepared by chefs wearing goggles and protective face masks. It was made with 20 infinity naga chillis (world’s second-spiciest chillis) and created a fierier experience than the Korean suicide burrito! Other such hot dishes include vindaloo with ghost peppers or hot pot from Sichuan where you can find chillis floating in broth. One might wonder on the logic behind why some cuisines are completely spicy while some others are utterly bland without having a subtle mix of both!
Studies put forth the fact that certain spices have antimicrobial properties and places with a warmer climate are more affiliated towards hot and spicy foods. Another view is that as spicy food brings about sweat in a person, it helps the individual to cool off in hot parts of the world. Another survey from cookbooks worldwide found that as mean annual temperature increased, the percentage of spices, number of spices, total spices per recipe and the use of the most important antibacterial spices increased.
Chilli peppers from America, black peppers, ginger and cinnamon from India and cloves and nutmeg from Europe were famous during earlier times. For the exact beneficial effects of the different spices such as nutmeg and cloves, please visit the website www.firsteatright.com. Some cuisines that relied on heavy spicing earlier don’t even have their hint in recent years. One classic example is that of the European cuisine that earlier included generous doses of nutmeg, mace and cloves. But after the spice prices crashed in the 1600s and these spices became accessible to everyone, gourmet chefs and cooks lost their love for these spices and moved on to another different dimension of cooking. They worked upon revealing the exact taste of the basic ingredients while including flavors that helped to reveal the ingredient’s authentic taste.
Humans too use taste as a way of branding what’s safe to eat and what is not. Also, once we are used to eating food in one certain way, we love to indulge only in that specific way. For example, if we love to have our poha with extra green chillis we prefer them only that way and cannot eat it in the absence of these green chillis.
Some people cannot stand the presence of extra spice in their food and either start to shed tears, sweat or vomit. Such physiological reaction to peppers is the result of temperature sensors in our mouth. Also, some people relish the kick of rushing adrenaline after eating spicy food even more than for its flavor.
Experiencing the thrill of such adrenaline gush without any drastic side effects is an attractive element for those weird few who love to take up those spice challenges. They feel it to be their birth right, in fact!
Whatever it is, too much of anything is good for nothing. Have a perfect blend of spice, salt and sweet in your cuisine to stay healthy and enjoy the goodness of the cuisine.
AVOID FRAUD. EAT SMART.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.