Uncommon Knowledge

Uncommon Knowledge: Why is Hot Food Hot Cuisine in Hot Countries?

May 23, 2016

40220_uk52316Mexican, Caribbean, Indian, Thai…if you connect the dots of spicy cuisines around the globe, you’ll find that sizzling seasonings like chili peppers have something in common: they’re found in the favorite foods of hot climates. At first, maybe that doesn’t make sense. If it’s already hot, why eat something that might make you sweat? But then you realize that perspiring is nature’s way of cooling you off. Capsaicin, the compound in peppers that gives them a kick, also raises your metabolism and causes a slight rise in body temperature, inducing sweating. Catch a breeze, and just chill. If that doesn’t convince you to tuck into some pad Thai, vindaloo, or chile rellenos, there’s another reason to spice things up in hot weather: spicy food acts as an appetite stimulant, counteracting the tendency to skip meals in the heat. And for the record, these funky Chili Peppers can make you sweat too.

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  • Reply Elizabeth May 26, 2016 at 1:31 am

    A big reason spicy foods are prevalent in hot climates is for health reasons. Spices can be antimicrobial and eating spicy foods can help you from getting food poisoning – something that is more likely to happen in a hot climate because food goes bad faster. Research suggests that the tradition of adding tabasco sauce to raw oysters can kill surface bacteria, making them safer to eat.

    • Reply Marisa May 26, 2016 at 11:09 am

      Thanks for that interesting information, Elizabeth! As a Tabasco lover (it’s my favorite hot sauce), I am happy to hear this. We appreciate your having taken the time to let us know this. Thanks for reading our blog!

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