Why Do Some Like It Hot?

Scientific American:

Why do some like what hot? Well, peanuts, of course. Spicy peanuts What did you think I was talking about? Spicy peanuts, and really, all sorts of spicy foods. Why do some people like and prefer spicy foods to the point where they consume mouth scorching dishes—and ask for more? This was the question posed to me by a coworker, as he reached for the can of spicy peanuts sitting in the communal kitchen area at work. The peanuts are roasted with Habanero peppers and then dusted with those scorchers for good measure. They’re hot for my coworkers, except for the one who found himself snacking throughout the day. I think they’re tingly. But then again, I have a different cultural background when it comes to spicy foods than most of my coworkers: As a Trinidadian, spice is a part of my heritage. And yet, my peanut-eating coworker who posed the question is Irish. (He did grow up in Texas, so perhaps that explains his tolerance for spice? He’s not sure himself.) But pepper has an unusual relationship with people all around the world.

Read the whole story: Scientific American

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