It's chile peppers!
While you can find chile peppers canned, dried, and ground, fresh peppers pack the strongest punch. Those who have developed a tolerance to the heat can eat them fresh and whole. (Can you?) However, do not put yourself up to this challenge unless you are prepared. But, in case you get carried away in chile excitement, try calming your mouth with dairy products, cucumbers, or something sweet –- water will just make the burn worse!
How did a food that can cause pain become so popular? Sure, the burning sensations of the stomach and mouth that chiles can cause are not at all pleasant (at least, not to everyone), not to mention the potential inflammation of skin and eyes, but chiles add excitement and flavor to dishes for a low cost. It is thought that people living in hot climates consume chiles as a means of cooling off (they do make you sweat!). Additionally, chiles have nutritional value and have high amounts of vitamins, such as vitamins A, C, and E. They're also rich in potassium, folic acid, and iron. Additionally, a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that including chile peppers in your diet can help to decrease levels of insulin that appears in your bloodstream after eating, which can, in turn, reduce chances of developing Type 2 diabetes.
Inspired to cook with chiles? Check out our recipes online!