Chilies are a true migrant, tracing its roots back to 5000 BC in Mexico and spreading around the world until many cultures feature them in their dishes.  The Scoville scale was created in 1912 to measure pungency or spiciness.  The family of plants includes bell peppers measuring between 1 and 100 units, while the hottest, like the ghost pepper, tip the scale at 855,000 or more units. Capsaicin is the oil found in all peppers which give the pepper their heat. When you bite into a hot pepper, your body reacts by dilating blood vessels, inflaming your mouth and making you feel hot all over. Those who eat spicy peppers regularly develop resistance to the heat as capsaicin kills the pain receptors in their mouths.  Peppers that are agonizing to those who don’t eat spicy foods normally can be a mild heat to those who eat chilies daily. In addition to spiciness, peppers contain a poison that is harmful to cats, so I am glad I don’t eat them.  Purrs, Gulliver

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