Past Peppers

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You and I are going to live longer!  

That's the takeaway from a new scientific report that eating spicy food reduces your risk of death by ten percent.  If you're a hot food fan - and that includes just about everyone I know - this is great news.

But it turns out that Gourmet got there first.  Trolling through a vintage issue of the magazine, I came upon this article on chili peppers - an upbeat users manual - in a thirty-one year old issue (June 1984).

Carolyn Dille and Susan Belsinger walk us through a market in Guadalajara, describing the different notes of each pepper they come across. It’s totally instructional. Better yet, they offer this very appealing recipe for a corn and chili pepper soufflé. 

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The authors throw in a well-meaning (if patronizing) note of caution. Their disclaimer: 

“Some cautionary notes are in order for novice chili pepper consumers. In cultures where large amounts are eaten, people develop a tolerance for their pungency.  The best way to achieve this tolerance is to begin by eating small amounts frequently.  If you are not accustomed to eating hot peppers, consuming a large amount at one time can cause a great deal of unpleasantness." 

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Where am I eating? What's for dinner tonight? And what books have I been reading? For a look at what's going on in my life lately, take a look at this journal, which I try to update on a regular basis.