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11 Countries to Visit If You Love Spicy Food

11 Countries to Visit If You Love Spicy Food


For some of you, it’s not a matter of whether you can handle the heat. You love the heat. You look for it on every menu — and maybe love it so much that you're willing to travel thousands of miles for your next fix. Here are 11 countries to visit if you love spicy food — and what to order when you get there.

11 Countries to Visit If You Love Spicy Food (Slideshow)

You’ll notice that many countries that love spicy food have warmer climates. According to research done by Cornell University, one reason for this is that spicy food helps fight off food-spoilage microorganisms and food-borne bacteria. In warmer climates, especially before refrigeration, food-borne bacteria were far more likely to thrive than in cooler climates. Another reason: counterintuitively, eating spicy foods cools your body down, or at least makes it feel cooler; spice induces sweating, and as the sweat evaporates, your skin cools. It doesn’t hurt that chiles are an endorphin-boosting aphrodisiac, either.

To find the countries on this list, we consulted our previous list of the world’s spiciest dishes that are worth the heartburn, and found other international dishes in which chiles appear prominently. We also relied on our tongues, as many of us at The Daily Meal office like our spices dialed up — we’ve even figured out which hot sauces match our astrological signs. We thought of some of the spiciest foods we have eaten, which cuisines they came from, and followed the trail to the other spicy specialties of those cuisines.

An honorary spicy dish that we considered putting on this list is a curry called phall, which is hotter than vindaloo — it includes spices from habanero and Scotch bonnet peppers as well as standard red chiles. Phall has an interesting origin: It was invented in Birmingham, England, to test which patrons at Indian restaurants could handle an extreme intensity of spice. While there are plenty of curry houses in the United Kingdom, there are far spicier countries to visit in the world.

Make sure to get your tongue ready for the dishes you’ll encounter in these fantastic travel destinations.

Bhutan

The food in Bhutan, a small kingdom bordered by India and Tibet, is so spicy that the national dish, ema datshi, consists solely of chiles and cheese; it is usually served with rice. According to the BBC, chiles in Bhutan are considered vegetables, rather than flavor enhancers. A good place to try the hot, spicy, and cheesy ema datshi is Plums Café in Thimphu.

China

Spicy food is not ubiquitously beloved across the vast regions of China, but in the provinces of Hunan, Sichuan, Yunnan, and Guizhou provinces, you’d better be prepared for some of the fieriest foods in the world. Steel yourself for steamed fish heads covered in a blanket of diced chile peppers, scallions, and garlic, or Sichuan huo guo, a tongue-numbing variation of hot pot in which Sichuan chiles, also known as “flower peppers” or “prickly ash,” fare prominently. If you want a preview in the United States, head to Han Dynasty in New York City and order their dandan noodles.


15 Spicy Food Recipes That Will Make Your Mouth Feel the Burn

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If you’re already a fan of spicy foods, then I don’t need to convince you these hot recipes. If you can’t handle spicy foods, then you have to eat spicy foods regularly to increase your spice tolerance. Basically, spice lovers and haters alike need to try these recipes. So read up on the dos and don’ts of eating spicy food and then get cooking.

1. Honey-Sriracha Roasted Brussel Sprouts

If you don’t like brussels sprouts, I guarantee you just haven’t had them cooked properly. Well that ends now. Marinating the brussels sprouts in honey helps counterbalance their bitter flavor, while the spicy kick from the Sriracha gives them a multidimensional flavor. Even if you love to hate brussels sprouts, you’ll devour these babies in no time.

2. Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Pepper Poppers

Raw jalapeños are enough to get your mouth burning, but this recipe adds an extra layer of spice with cayenne pepper. Don’t worry. The cheddar and cream cheese filling will help cool your mouth back down. Oh, and then it’s all wrapped in bacon. What more could you want?

3. Spicy Oven-Crisped Chickpeas

If you’re looking for an alternative to processed potato chips, these oven-crisped chickpeas are the healthy go to snack. They’re salty, crunchy, and of course, nice and spicy. Add as much or as little pepper and chili powder as you want to adjust the spice level. Or use completely different spices to give them whatever flavor you want.

4. Southwest Burgers

End your summer with a bang by making these super flavorful burgers. Fresh peppers and cumin give the patty itself a good kick. But it doesn’t stop there. Top it off with some hot sauce for even more spicy goodness. Thankfully, the lettuce, mayo, and cheese will keep you from sweating bullets.

5. Spicy Chickpea Burgers

We can’t forget about all of the vegetarians out there. We’ve got a spicy chickpea recipe for you that even meat eaters are guaranteed to love. Not only is there Sriracha in the patty itself, but the burger is also topped with Sriracha mayo. They also get added flavor from onion, fresh cilantro, cumin, garlic powder, and peanut butter.

6. Sweet and Spicy Chickpea Curry

I know this is the third chickpea recipe on this list, but they’re the perfect plain base to pick up all kinds of spicy flavors. In this curry, they soak up tons of spicy from black pepper, Sriracha, and (obviously) curry powder. Balance out the spiciness with a little stevia, and you’ve got yourself a simple, healthy, and delicious dinner.

7. Sweet and Spicy Acorn Squash

As fall approaches so does squash season. These sweet vegetables serve as the perfect base for all sorts of spicy flavors. Roasting some acorn squash in the oven with some red pepper flakes makes for a quick and easy dinner side that packs quite a punch.

8. Spicy Pumpkin Soup

You can also enjoy your spicy squash in the form of soup. Although creamy and comforting, pumpkin soups can be kind of one note in the flavor department. Not so with this recipe. It calls for basically every spice that starts with a c: crushed red pepper, coriander, cumin, and cayenne. A hot pumpkin soup with all of those spices will be sure to warm you up in no time.

9. Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

Buffalo chicken is one of America’s most iconic spicy dishes. Using this Buffalo chicken meatball recipe, you can make everyone’s favorite game day food in under thirty minutes. You can make them for a party or just to enjoy for dinner. Either way, be sure to bring the blue cheese because your mouth will be burning after you take a bite of one of these meatballs.

10. Buffalo Chicken Sandwich

Alternatively, you could enjoy your buffalo chicken in sandwich form. With all of the cheese already melted on top, you save the extra effort of having to dip your buffalo chicken. Even better, this recipe offers easy gluten free, dairy free, and vegan options as well, so everyone can enjoy this delectably spicy sandwich.

11. Spicy Mac ‘N Cheese

I love plain old mac ‘n cheese as much as the next person, but sometimes you need more. Sometimes you need spice. So what do you do? You add mustard, hot sauce, and a good heaping of black pepper. All that spice adds some dimension to the rich, creamy cheese. You’ll never go back to plain mac ‘n cheese again.

12. Spicy Lemon Seafood Pasta

If you want a spicy pasta that’s a little lighter, check out this lemon and seafood sauce. The tomato based sauce gets all of its spice from red and black pepper. But don’t let the lightness and simplicity of the sauce fool you. It’s got some real heat that will definitely light your mouth on fire.

13. Sriracha and Egg Breakfast Burrito

No oven? No stove? No problem. You only need a mug and a microwave to cook eggs. Microwaved eggs might not sound like the most appealing breakfast option, but they’re sure to be delicious covered in melty cheese, drizzled with spicy Sriracha and salsa, and wrapped in a tortilla.

14. Cheesy Jalapeño Bread

Another handy tool that lets you skip the oven is your rice maker. You can even make homemade bread in it. It might not be quite as good as fresh bread from a bakery, but with all the flavor from the cheddar cheese and jalapeños, you won’t even notice the difference.

15. Waffle Iron Quesadilla

Using a waffle iron to cook your quesadilla guarantees a crispy exterior, but the most exciting part of this dish lies within the tortilla. Pepper jack cheese, two types of fresh peppers, cumin, and paprika add layer upon layer of spicy goodness. Garnish it with hot sauce for an extra kick and then some sour cream to help cool your mouth down.


2. Chili Powder

Salina Wall

Chili powder is like the grown-up version of crushed red pepper. It's got a more pungent kick to it, which makes it perfect for cooking. Use it in marinades, homemade sauces and salad dressings. I like mixing a teaspoon of chili powder with some lemon juice and adding it to my guac to make it extra spicy! You can find chili powder in the condiments aisle of most grocery stores.


11 Countries to Visit If You Love Spicy Food - Recipes

I'm a confirmed "chilehead". I love cooking with various chile peppers and experimenting with different hot sauces. I'm pretty sure I've become addicted to the endorphin rush that comes from consuming capsaicin in all it's many forms. I am never, *ever* without at least one bottle of hot sauce in the cupboard, because I will go into a minor panic if my supply runs low.

But that's just me. I've heard that most Europeans don't like anything stronger than paprika, black pepper, or horseradish. Is this true, or have your tastes changed as global travel and "ethnic" restaurants and shops become more commonplace?

PS: I also love paprika, black pepper, and horseradish. Really, anything that makes the eating experience a little more. interesting. is fine with me!

Algerian spices such as harissa have been used for so long in France that they are considered local, as are the spicy merguez sausages. Apart from those items, which everybody eats, rural French are indeed timid about spices except for strong mustard, which can have as much bite as wasabi.

In the cities, no problem with all of the Thai, Indian and other spicy ethnic cuisines available. I never set foot in a Tex-Mex restaurant because they have been blanded into nothingness for some reason, but you can have your mouth burned off in Ethiopian or Sri Lankan restaurants.

Well, first of all, I hope you know that 'Europe' isn't a single country, but a continent with around 50 different countries, each with its own cultural and culinary traditions which are thousands of years old. So it's difficult to summarize 'most' Europeans' taste for spicy food. Since hot peppers (besides paprika) are not native to Europe they are not generally part of culinary tradition of these countries.

That said, it is true that in the last 30 years with immigration from former colonies, and elsewhere, many European countries have had a huge influx of cuisine from areas that do have spicy food.

For example, statistics show that the most popular take-away (Am. English 'take-out') food in Great Britain is Indian food.

In France, the large Maghreb population in the larger cities means there are lots of Moroccan and Algerian restaurants where spicy food is served.

In Denmark and Germany, Thai food (with green and red curries) is almost more popular than local cuisine.

In Portugal, there are lots of restaurants from Goa, Mozambique, Cape Verde, where chilli-based hot sauce is popular. In fact, grilled chicken is quite popular in Portugal and you can always get it 'regular' or 'spicy'.


Frankly, I don't think you can say most Americans like spicy meals either. You're from Texas which was originally Spanish and then Mexican, so it has a tradition of spicy food, but until the last 20 years or so, there were lots of Americans from the mid-West and Northeast who never ate spicy food.


33 Recipes That Are Perfect for Every Spicy Food Lover

I often talk about my love for spicy foods, and let me tell you something: it’s never going to end. But whether spicy foods are making grown gamers cry or getting heaped in Sriracha, the undeniable fact is that spicy is the best.

Not only does spicy and hot food taste awesome, but it’s also super good for you. Garlic and ginger can fight off your cold or cure a sore throat, hot peppers can clear out your sinuses and get rid of congestion, and hot and spicy foods generally just fight sickness. Beef up your spicy food tolerance and try these recipes out next time your mouth’s feeling dry and uninspired.

1. Avocado Pepper Salsa

You will never be satisfied with plain guac again. Make yours here.

2. Sriracha & Egg Avocado Burrito

Breakfast on fleek. Make yours like this.

3. Classic Tomato Salsa

For anyone who’s a sucker for the classics. Make yours like this.

4. Chili Mac And Cheese

Spice up your life. Recipe here.

5. Spicy Oven-Crisped Chickpeas

A little crunchy, a little chewy, a little spicy and very tasty. Recipe here.

6. Gluten-Free Burrata Jalapeño Poppers

Because it’s fried cheese. Recipe here.

7. Spicy Pumpkin Soup

This takes pumpkin spice to a whole new level. Make yours here.

8. Guacamole Hummus

Leave the chile seeds in for an extra kick. Make yours like this.

9. Honey-Sriracha Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Who said Brussels sprouts can’t taste good? Try this sweet-and-spicy recipe and see how these vilified veggies could taste delicious. Find the recipe here.

10. Spanish Hot Chocolate

Spice up your sweet drink (just a lil). Red pepper flakes and cayenne pepper give this drink a nice, surprising little kick. Learn how to make it here.

11. Sweet Potato Chipotle Hummus

Photo by Kimberly Buesser

If the chickpeas in #3 don’t quite do it for you, try this recipe on for size. Nothing like a spin on a classic dip to keep things, well, spicy. Here’s the recipe.

12. Cheddar and Jalapeño Muffins

The only technical skill needed for this beautiful recipe is the ability to use a spoon. Make yours here.

13. Mango Salsa

Not your average salsa. Recipe here.

14. Honey Jalapeno Margaritas

It’s 5 o’clock somewhere. Make yours like this.

15. Fresh & Spicy Tomato Pasta

There’s no reason to be using the same boring jar of tomato sauce. Make your own like this.

16. Roasted Tomatillo & Serrano Salsa

Give the traditional stuff a lil twist. Recipe here.

17. Baked Sriracha Potato Chips

These put every store-bought chip to shame. Make your own like this.

18. Cajun Beer Bread

Bread is one of my passions. Throw in some spice, and I’m sold. Just add the cajun seasoning as you like it (read: three bucketfuls) and maybe fry up some wings. Check the recipe here.

19. Red Bull Chicken Wings

Few things in life are better than spicy chicken wings. Recipe here.

20. Acorn Squash

This sounds like squirrel food, but I promise it isn’t. It’s sweet, spicy, and tastier than squirrel food. Check out the recipe here.

21. Cumin Rice and Beans

Photo by Antonia Drummond

Make sure your side dishes are as spicy as your main courses with this recipe. Or, just make enough that it’s a main course. Find out how to make it here.

22. Jalapeño and Lime Frozen Margarita

Photo by Sarah Haselhorst

Bet you thought there wouldn’t be a drink on here. But let’s face it, the “frozen” in this marg is not going to chill down the heat at all. Drink responsibly here.

23. Thai Curry

Photo courtesy of Thailand Restuarant

This is made with Panang, aka “stepped up classic red curry” that is sweet, sour, and spicy. Making it is easier than you’d think.

24. Sriracha Burger

It just makes sense. Make them and eat them because you know you want them (and then invite me over and share). The recipe is here.

25. Sriracha Popcorn

Need something to snack on? After you make this popcorn, movie night will never be the same (not that you’ll be paying attention to the movie if you’ve got this popcorn). The recipe is here.

26. Egg & Sriracha Poached Egg Open Sandwich

All you need is 5 ingredients. Recipe here.

27. Bacon Jalapeño Cream Cheese Poppers

Anything stuffed inside a crescent roll instantly gets even more delicious. Recipe here.

28. Bacon Mac and Cheese Jalapeño Poppers

Ever feel like your appetizers aren’t crazy enough? Yeah, well, once you put bacon, mac and cheese, and jalapeños in one place, you won’t feel like that anymore. Find out how here.

29. Spicy and Cheesy Open Face Buffalo Chicken Sandwich

Mmm, buffalo chicken with a spice. Make it with this recipe.

30. Tilapia Tacos

The chili powder gives these tacos a special extra kick. Check out the recipe here.

31. Chili Lime Chicken Burgers

These Trader Joe’s knockoffs are just as easy and just as delicious. No one will be able to tell the difference. Find the recipe here.

32. Homemade Sriracha

Photo by Margaret Weinberg

If you feel up to the challenge, try making Sriracha by yourself. Who knows? Maybe you’ll actually put them out of business. The recipe is here.


Frequently bought together

Review

“This is the cutting-edge of hot and spicy culinary artistry, with innovative recipes set among excellent food styling and photography. It is a visual and delectable delight.”
―Dave DeWitt, aka “The Pope of Peppers”

"Consider Michael Hultquist your new go-to for creative yet completely accessible recipes that traverse the spicy-food universe."
―Amanda Altman, managing editor of Chile Pepper magazine

The Spicy Food Lovers’ Cookbook is phenomenal! If you like some heat to your food, this is THE book to have on your shelf.”
―Amanda Batcher, founder of The Chunky Chef

“Calling all chileheads out there―Mike delivers with his new book!”
―Kevin OLeary, founder of Kevin Is Cooking

“Michael is a master of incorporating fiery flavors into everyday and not-so-everyday dishes. His cuisine is not a hold-my-beer-and-watch-this style of presentation, but a deliciously spicy blend that a true Chilehead can appreciate.”
―John Hard, founder of CaJohn's Fiery Foods and Hot Sauce Hall of Famer

The Spicy Food Lovers’ Cookbook is the ultimate culinary experience that teaches curious cooks how to add dimensions of flavor to everyday meals. Michael Hultquist is a spice expert, exciting the taste buds with each bold and fiery recipe.”
―Jessica Gavin, Certified Culinary Scientist and author of Easy Culinary Science for Better Cooking

"Spicy food enthusiasts, rejoice! You now have a fiery food playbook dedicated to you. It doesn't matter if you are a novice or an endorphin addict in search for the next hottest dish, Michael has a recipe for you."
―Al "Buddah" Goldenberg, founder of I Love it Spicy

“Mike's passion for all things spicy pops off the page in his newest book, and it's jam-packed with delicious recipes! Whether you like the heat full-force or dialed back a bit, Mike shows you how to bring the heat to your kitchen.”
―April Anderson, creator of Girl Gone Gourmet, author of Gourmet Cooking for One or Two

“Michael has an amazing ability to create beautifully delicious, spicy dishes while at the same time making them both inspiring and totally approachable for the everyday cook or the wild eyed Chilehead!”
―Jeremy Walsh, founder of Bigfat’s Hot Sauce, Inc.

The Spicy Food Lovers' Cookbook is a beautiful marriage of flavor and heat.”
―Isabel Orozco-Moore, food blogger and photographer, Isabel Eat

"The Spicy Food Lovers' Cookbook elevates the flavor of both familiar and not-so-familiar dishes with the many varieties of that vegetable of extreme smack―the chili pepper.”
―Kirsten K. Shockey, author of Fiery Ferments and Fermented Vegetables


Why Do Some Cultures Eat Spicy Foods?

Why do some cultures eat spicy foods while others lean toward a milder fare? You may have noticed that even food that comes from regions near each other may vary greatly in the spice levels of their food. For example, at a typical Chinese restaurant (here in America) you can find instances of this phenomenon. Most Chinese food is fairly mild, but the Sichuan (aka. Szechuan) region often lends some spicier dishes to our Chinese menus.

Why does this happen across the globe you may ask? This article will take a look at a few examples and explore the reasons behind such occurrences.

Where do chili peppers come from?

Although there are several cultures and cuisines around the world that we now associate with spicy food, it is important to understand that all peppers originally came from the southern part of North America, Central America, and the northern parts of South America. Most say they probably originated in the area we now know as Mexico. Peppers were one of the items that made its way from the Americas back to Europe after Columbus made his journey across the Atlantic.

Once peppers were brought back to Europe they were then able to make their way across Europe and into Asia by traders and missionaries. I find it really incredible that something that is now considered a staple in some countries and regions was actually only introduced to them four or five hundred years ago.

Why did some countries

Adopt chili peppers so wholeheartedly?

Without much investigation at all, it is fairly evident that most areas that use a lot of hot peppers happen to be in warmer climates. If you have spent as much time reading and learning about hot peppers as I have, it seems that this may be due to the natural ability of spicy chilis to kill certain bacteria and micro-organisms.

As mentioned in an article by thedailymeal.com in 2015, research by Cornell University says that this benefit of spicy peppers to lower the incidences of food-borne bacteria, especially in times before refrigeration, would have been extremely useful. Particularly in warmer climates where bacteria can thrive much more easily than in cooler climates.

That article also proposes that the reaction of your body to sweat while eating spicy food may have added a cooling affect for people in hot regions. (To understand why this happens you can check out my article about how and why chili peppers react with your body.)

Another theory that I have, adding to the attractiveness of peppers, is that they are easy to grow. I don’t have much of a green thumb, sadly, but I have had pretty good success growing hot peppers. Also, you can get a lot of peppers from even one small bush, and a little bit often goes a long way with these spicy little fruits.

Snipped from Google Maps

One more thing to add to this is that most chili pepper plants also need a warmer climate to grow and flourish. This is an obvious explanation of why they are more popular in warmer regions. No matter what part of the world you talk about, the people would have obviously been eating plants that can grow there- whether they are native or brought there, they need to grow well to consistently make it in to the regions’ cuisine.

This is the most likely explanation for the phenomenon I mentioned earlier of areas like the Sichuan region of China having spicier dishes than other parts of the same country. The Sichuan region is in the southwest area of the very large country of China, and this area is much more humid and warm than other more northerly areas, making it a perfect place to grow peppers.

Spicy Countries

Central and North American countries south of the United States, like Mexico, that have had chili peppers available to them from the beginning, have incorporated peppers into almost everything. Although they have often found ways to tame the heat of the pepper in many dishes, the flavor and health benefits of them are invariably in every meal.

Many of the hottest peppers in the world come from Caribbean islands such as Trindad and Jamiaca. Needless to say, these island nations have some deliciously spicy recipes. Due to cultural cross overs from Europeans bringing people from Africa and India to the islands, you can find quite creative dishes…really the original fusion food. Seemingly out of place, you will find that many of Jamaica’s most popular local dishes actually contain curry.

Thailand probably stands out to many of us as one of the spiciest cuisines. I have talked with several people from Thailand or who have lived there, and seems to be fairly common place for people to grow hot peppers in their yards. Here in the US we often even call the small, potent chilis found in much of Asian cuisine “thai” peppers or chilis. FYI, they are actually called bird’s eye chilis.

Most of China’s cuisine does not make us think of anything spicy, but as I was saying earlier in this article, parts of China are famous for their spicier fares. The Sichuan (where my favorite, Kung Pao Chicken comes from!) and Hunan areas in particular, are most well known for spicing it up. Of course these somewhat southwestern areas are nearer to other Asian countries that also showcase spicy dishes, i.e. Thailand, Tibet, Bhutan, and Nepal.

Another country famous for its heated dishes is India (This is where the infamous Ghost Pepper comes from). Like Jamaica, not only do some Indian dishes contain hot peppers, but also hot currys. Jamaican heat is often tamed down by the addition of something a little sweet, but this isn’t really the case in Indian food.

Many African countries also have great spicy dishes, such as Ethiopia, Liberia, Nigeria, Ghana, and Morocco. If you have ever seen the Ben Stiller movie, “Along Came Polly” you may know that Moroccan food is not for people with week stomachs.

Building up a Tolerance

The countries listed above have been eating hot peppers for centuries. It is part of who they are. They have most definitely built up a tolerance to spicy foods. Many of their regular everyday dishes would probably be much too spicy for many Americans. Especially older Americans whose families have been here for a few generations, or that come from mild Northern European or Northern Asian countries.

Even though the United States borders Mexico, the birthplace of hot peppers, most of our country’s cuisine is oddly mild. Luckily, in recent decades food from other countries has gotten more and more popular, allowing some heat to infiltrate our menus.

Some of the southern US states do have a spicier array of regular meal options than the rest of the US. The Cajun cuisine of Louisiana shows its spicy influences from continental countries south of the border and the Caribbean.

More recently the addition of Buffalo Wings to american culture as helped spur the growing popularity of spicy foods, at least with young men. Of course, there are plenty of us women out there who love those saucy, spicy little wings too, but oddly, it does seem to really entice more men. Maybe it’s because they can get a little too messy for some prissy chicks. Not this lady, I love me some hot wings!

For chili pepper loving Americans like me, it is really exciting that spicy food is finally making waves all across America. One of the big jump starters for the spicy food craze, that is helping us to build up a tolerance nationwide, was the introduction of the Indian Ghost Pepper as the hottest pepper in the world. Taking first place in the Guinness Book of World records in 2007 as the first chili to be tested at a Scoville rating of over 1,000,000 Scoville Units.

The clever and haunting name seemed to elicit much excitement among many people. Most people, even people who don’t like spicy food are now familiar with this famous little pepper. Its real name is bhut jolokia, but that just isn’t as catchy as Ghost Pepper now is it? The popularity of this pepper spawned an explosion of all kinds of spicy sauces, and encouraged cultivators to find and create the hottest peppers on earth. (Check out my article on the Top 10 Hottest Peppers in the world for information and history on this topic, and also my recommendations for the best and spiciest hot sauces.)

In Conclusion…Why Do Some Cultures Eat Spicy Foods?

I hope this article gave you some insight into the spread and use of hot peppers across the world, and answered the question of why some cuisines are spicier than others. Chili peppers are really an interesting topic for so many reasons. The history and health benefits are seemingly never ending.

Please feel free to explore this website and read more about the awesomeness of chili peppers. If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave a comment below or you can reach me through the contact form in the main menu above. I will get back to asap! Thanks for reading, see you next time.


Try TikTok’s new favorite snack with the jalapeño challenge.

The videos sharing this recipe refer to it as the jalapeño challenge, but it really is just a new food hack for a tasty snack. A snack hack, if you will. And it only requires three ingredients: Fresh jalapeños, cream cheese, and Takis. (If you’re somehow unfamiliar with Takis, they’re a rolled corn tortilla chip covered with spicy flavor dust. They’re delicious and you can find them at convenience stores. Otherwise, you can substitute Doritos Dinamitas, which is essentially the same thing.)

In order to make the snack (which doesn’t appear to have an official name yet), cut the top off the jalapeño and scrape out the seeds. Then fill it with some cream cheese and pop some Takis inside (some people also squeeze some lime juice on top). It’s not exactly an elegant snack — you kind of have to just cram it in your mouth and take a bite — but people seem to enjoy it, and we won’t deny that it looks very satisfying.

If you’re worried about the spice level, you should know that it’s probably not as bad as you think. Removing the seeds from the jalapeño definitely makes it milder, and adding the cream cheese also cools it down significantly. If you can handle a jalapeño popper, you can probably handle this snack with the same level of ease. Plus, you can make a TikTok about it and maybe go viral. It’s a win-win, really.


11. Caramelized Garlic-Chili Lotus Stems With Mung Bean Noodles

Lotus blossoms are the national flower of India and the entire plant is popular in Indian cuisine for its unique flavor and unadulterated beauty. This particular Caramelized Garlic-Chili Lotus Stems With Mung Bean Noodles recipe by Anuja Kohli Mariwala caramelizes the fibrous stems of the lotus plant in a zesty garlic-chili sauce and serves them over a bed of mung bean noodles. This is an easy way you can impress your friends and these noodles can be served as a light meal or an exciting side.


This Caribbean Black Bean Chili gets a spicy touch from the habanero peppers often used in Caribbean dishes. The butternut squash and black beans chili is seasoned with allspice, smoked paprika, garlic, and cayenne. Orange zest and juices adds a touch of citrus for color and brightness.

Is it hot in here or is just us? It must be all these hot and spicy recipes and bring the heat with so much amazing flavor.