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January 16: the International Day of Spicy and Spicy Foods
Dedicated to asbestos palates, this day celebrates the triumph of the hottest spices. What better time to appreciate the spicy side of cooking, perhaps in the company of friends or relatives?
Throughout the history of the world, spices have always been an integral part of culinary cultures around the globe. According to archaeological studies, peoples have been using hot spices in their food since 6000 years and more. Used for the most varied needs, to flavor, color and preserve food, as well as for medicinal purposes, spices are celebrated all over the world every January 16, the International Day of Spicy and Spicy Foods.
Why do they like spices? And why they are widely used in some countries (the hottest) rather than others? He tried to answer these questions Paul Sherman, professor of neurobiology and behavior at Cornell University, with research that examined nearly 5,000 traditional meat recipes taken from 36 countries around the world in relation to the use of multiple spices related to the climate.
The answer, according to Sherman and his team, lies in the protective antimicrobial action of chemicals in spices and chillies against food-degrading bacteria. L'abundant use of chillies & C. – particularly in countries where meat spoilage is accelerated by high temperatures – reflects a evolutionary adaptation of man against poisoning from spoiled food. In 10 countries – Ethiopia, Kenya, Greece, India, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Morocco, Nigeria and Thailand – each meat recipe examined required at least one spice, while in Scandinavian countries a third of the recipes included none. A theory, that of Sherman, also supported by the fact that any recipe that has existed for more than five generations (about 100 years) would predate electric refrigeration: most of the recipes examined date back to at least six generations. Even though the dishes we know today may have changed, there's no denying that we still love spicy food.
A really "hot" party
When we think of spicy food, we tend to think of cooking asian: Chillies are regularly used in Indian, Chinese (especially Sichuan) and Thai cuisines. But don't forget that Mexican and that of Sri Lanka. It is not about dishes that are “very spicy and that's it”, it is about appreciating harmonies of spices that manage to give an extraordinary taste experience. Chillies are all over the world: so many different types, including top spicy (“hellish” level) Carolina Reapers, then Ghost Peppers, Habanero, Red Cayenne Pepper, Serrano, Guajillo, Poblano, Peppadew and many more. They all bring a different level of spiciness and a different kind of flavor to the dishes.
One way to celebrate the International Day of Spicy and Spicy Foods could be to try some real dishes intense – be it Thai, Indian, Creole or Caribbean. On this day, both food extremists can try something new super spicy, hard and pure enthusiasts of the Scoville scale of spiciness, and those who, of a less daring nature, want to dare a little more – a few tears and a few sensitized taste buds, without all hell breaking loose. The less courageous can add a few jalapeños to their burgers or fajitas, or accompany their sushi with a generous dose of wasabi and horseradish in honor of this day.
There are recipes for all tastes. It doesn't matter, because spicy or spicy food has been celebrated by many cultures not only for its intense taste, but also because it offers several benefits. Products like turmeric and cumin have shown powerful properties antimicrobials and antioxidants, and we know the properties well anti-inflammatory of garlic and ginger. Spicy foods like chillies, turmeric, cinnamon and cumin can also help speed up metabolism and slow down your appetite. Let's put a pinch of chili in our life! After all, our diet would be pretty boring without it, right?
We recommend you to try spiced brisket with paprika, tofu with Thai curry, Mexican chicken wings.
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