• Amy Gordon

Why Hot Peppers? ... Part 1

Updated: Aug 8, 2019

So, what is all the hype about hot peppers the last couple decades? Since the late 1990s, consumption of hot peppers has increased dramatically. There is no single reason for this wonderful occurrence. Looking into why people like the "hot stuff" these are the reasons I found:

- they like the pain

- they enjoy the challenge

- people like the flavor

- health benefits

- personal accomplishment

- peer pressure that turns into an ambitious activity

I'm sure you can think of more, but that is the short list. Besides the above-mentioned reasons, I also wondered about the type of person that likes super hots. Where do they live? How do they get peppers? I did find some interested, albeit boring statistics and studies on people who seek hot peppers and pain. The majority is split between middle age white men with mid class income and every other race young to middle age of low to mid class income. Women typically don't enjoy the hotter stuff as men do. Hence it makes me wonder if it is a status/challenge/manly thing. I am sure that the majority of people do like the unique flavors of hot peppers otherwise no one would come back for more, right?


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Another reason for the dramatic interest comes from an economic standpoint. Increase in trade, increase in popularity of food trucks, increase in the quantity of middle-class citizens in Asia, increase in variety of super-hot peppers...all seem to have a positive effect on the growth of hot peppers in the US.



Now, to top it all off, there are amazing health benefits from eating hot peppers as well. Many people know of heart health aspects of peppers and improving metabolism. But I think unless you did your own research you wouldn't really know of a few others.

- promoter of intestinal health

- redirection of migraine pain

- relieves joint pain

- quells psoriasis

- cancer fighter

- fights infections

...And others!

My opinion, as much as its worth, is that people like peppers because of the taste and endorphin rush they get from the pain. Peppers can be addictive and wouldn't you want your friends and family to experience the joy and intrigue that you get from eating hot peppers? That itself would promote challenges and competition within your circles. Peer pressure can be a powerful thing!



In summation of part one, peppers are a wondrous and mysterious fruit. There are so many varieties, flavors profiles and levels of heat that it is doubtful that someone could get bored. With the demand of interest in said fruit, many people (botanists, propagators and connoisseurs alike) are creating new varieties each year. Interest in hot peppers is created and maintained by the variety and intensity of the fruit, which in turn increases the production and creation of new hot pepper products. A beautiful circle of heat!

Until next time, stay spicy.



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