How hot do you like your food? I’ll add Sriracha to my plate if I need some flavor, but my husband has me beat. I once cried just smelling his entree at a restaurant.
Why do we torture ourselves with spicy food, anyway? It turns out that this phenomenon dates back to 7,000 B.C., when cavemen ate spicy chilies, mustard seeds and peppers.
Because spicy foods can help fight bacteria, some scientists theorize that we crave hot foods to help our immune systems.
By the 1600s, spices were a sign of wealth. Europeans took advantage of this status symbol and made sure their foods were extra flavorful.
In 1980, my personal favorite hot sauce was introduced––Sriracha. Two years later, cayenne-spiced wings became popular.
Fast forward to present day. 66% of consumers list spicy foods as a favorite, and millennials are currently driving spicy food trends.
Whether you can handle ghost peppers or settle for mild salsa, it’s clear that spicy food isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Check out our kitchen cheat sheet and use it the next time you’re preparing food, whether it’s peppery or not.