International Hot and Spicy Food Day

International Hot and Spicy Food Day - Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Food & Drink

For one red-hot day a year, the world’s chili heads, heat-seekers and extreme eaters can take their passion to extremes. International Hot and Spicy Foods Day sparks a wildfire of events, from habanero-eating challenges to fancy-dress contests and cook-offs of popular recipes. Among serious aficionados, it also re-kindles the great debate: which chili pepper tops the official Scoville heat scale?

There’s no denying the daredevil nature of some of the celebrations. However, people who like a meal to tingle their taste buds, not make their eyes water, shouldn’t feel left out. Enjoying a touch of heat in our cooking is a worldwide human trait, so what better day to invite your family and friends to discover a different cuisine? Thai, Indian, Creole and Caribbean dishes are all famous for their blends of aromatic ingredients, but many cultures boast their own favourites. After all, variety is truly the spice of life…

Learn about International Hot and Spicy Foods Day

Did you know that people have been using hot spices in their meals and recipes for more than 6,000 years? It seems that we have always loved a bit of spice! If you are a fan of curry or you love a bag of Flamin’ Hot Doritos, you’re definitely going to enjoy this day, as you’re encouraged to add some spicy food to your daily diet. There are so many different types of spices that are used to create hot and spicy foods today. This includes everything from hot chilli powder to paprika and cumin. Today is all about celebrating these spices. After all, our diet would be pretty boring without them, right?

History of International Hot and Spicy Foods Day

Hot and spicy food has been traced back to recipes that are as old as 6,000 years! That’s a long time ago! While the dishes that we enjoy today may have changed, there is no denying that we still love spicy food. Not only has spicy food been adored for so long because it tastes incredible, but also because it offers a number of different health benefits as well.

Spices can help to kill bacteria. The likes of turmeric and cumin have been shown to have powerful antimicrobial and antioxidant properties. This means that they can be effective in terms of fighting any of the harmful bacteria in your body. Spices can also assist in fighting inflammation too. In Ayurvedic medicine, the inflammatory properties of garlic and ginger have been utilized for many centuries as a treatment for a number of different conditions, such as headaches, autoimmune disorders, and arthritis.

Spicy foods can also help to speed your metabolism up. There has been data drawn from a number of different studies that show that certain species, like pepper chilies, turmeric, cinnamon, and cumin are able to slow down your appetite and increase your metabolic resting rate. Who knew that spices were so powerful?

How to celebrate International Hot and Spicy Foods Day

When we think about hot and spicy food, we tend to think about Asian cuisine. You will see that chillis are regularly used in Indian, Chinese, and Thai cooking. Why not host a themed night and have your friends and family around? There are plenty of different dishes that you can enjoy, ensuring that everything is not simply designed to blow people’s taste buds off! 

If you are looking for the spiciest cuisine in the world, you may want to try Sichuan. It is a cuisine that is well known for its bold flavors. The spiciness of the food is what draws a lot of people in. However, it’s not just about heat, heat, and more heat! There are lots of exciting flavors in Sichuan food, and so you really are going to have an amazing taste experience with this cuisine. You could either try to cook some Sichuan food yourself or go to an authentic restaurant. 

As the name indicates, this is a type of food that has come from China’s Sichuan Province. The provincial capital of Sichuan is called Chengdu, and it is actually deemed one of the best places in the whole country for food. It has an excellent reputation for fiery hot pots and spicy dishes. There are lots of exciting street snacks to try here too, with everything from savoury jelly noodles to poached wontons.

When people talk about Sichuan food, they tend to only focus on the heat. However, it is much more exciting than that. This is because the cuisine consists of seven basic flavors, which are as follows: aromatic, salty, hot, sour, sweet, bitter, and pungent. Therefore, you really are going to enjoy some exciting food. Of course, chilies are at the heart of the meals cooked. From pickled chilies, to fresh chillies, to dry chilies; they are all incorporated. 

In fact, apart from enjoying some delicious hot and spicy food on this day, another thing you can do is learn more about the different chilies that are available around the world. There are so many different types, including Carolina Reapers, Ghost Peppers, Habanero, Red Cayenne Pepper, Serrano, Guajillo, Poblano, Peppadew, and much more. They all bring a different level of heat and a different type of flavor to dishes. It is definitely interesting to learn more about the different options that are out there, and we are sure that it will enhance your cooking skills as well!

Another fun way to celebrate International Hot and Spicy Foods Day are by having a cook-off with your friends. Invite a few of your loved ones over and see who can create the best hot and spicy dish! It is always fun to do something a bit different with the ones that you love, and this gives you the perfect opportunity to do exactly that!

You can all have fun trying out each other’s different creations. They may be a few disasters along the way, but that simply adds to the fun of it, right? If you are feeling brave, you could even have a chilli eating competition. You will need to get some different chillis and find out how they rank on the heat scale. You can then find out who is able to handle the most heat! Make sure you have got plenty of water on hand!

Of course, you don’t need to go all out and become the next Masterchef on International Hot and Spicy Foods Day if you don’t want to! There are plenty of different ways that you can embrace some spice without needing to cook a complex meal. We all know that a pepperoni pizza will go down well in most homes! You could add a few jalapenos to your burger or fajitas in honor of this day! Other easy dishes that will ensure you are part of the trend include spicy meatballs and spicy Mexican pasta salad. You can turn anything into a spicy dish with the right seasoning!

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