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Hot Off the Presses: What's So Hot About Chili Peppers?

As someone who considers hot sauce a kitchen staple, I've been especially looking forward to the April issue of Smithsonian magazine—it includes this feature by Brendan Borrell about an American ecologist who studies chilies in Bolivia to deduce nature's method behind the spicy madness. It's a live...

At a market in Cochabamba, Bolivia, chilies have been on sale for centuries


As someone who considers hot sauce a kitchen staple, I've been especially looking forward to the April issue of Smithsonian magazine—it includes this feature by Brendan Borrell about an American ecologist who studies chilies in Bolivia to deduce nature's method behind the spicy madness. It's a lively read that you'll enjoy whether you like it hot or not. (And no, I'm not just saying that because I work at the magazine.) Take a look! And if it makes you hungry, check out these recipes from Sarah of Surprising Science, as well as my co-blogger Lisa's post about whether beans and chilies belong together

For a demonstration of someone reacting to the kick of very hot hot sauce, here's a few pictures from my days as a features reporter at a small paper (which sometimes meant illustrating my own stories—this one went with a piece about a local hot sauce store). Embarrassing for me; hopefully amusing for you!
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About Amanda Bensen

Amanda Bensen is a former assistant editor at Smithsonian and is now a senior editor at the Nature Conservancy.

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