Tiffany B. Brown

On liking it hot

Habanero
Photo by papalars. Found on Flickr

The story of how chilies got their heat is pretty straightforward. A recent study suggested that capsaicin is an effective defense against a fungus that attacks chili seeds. In fact, experiments have shown that the same species of wild chili plant produces a lot of capsaicin in an environment where the fungus is likely to grow, and very little in drier areas where the fungus is not a danger.

From the New York Times article A Perk of Our Evolution: Pleasure in Pain of Chilies (log-in required)

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