For both timid triers and fiery fanatics, David Floyd’s newly updated The Hot Book of Chilies provides you with everything you need and want to know about this eye-watering ingredient. Containing dozens of recipes and a gallery of 97 varieties of peppers, from mild jalapenos and pasillas to hazardous habaneros and pequins, with useful information on their degree of hotness, health benefits, biology, and history, this is the ultimate resource on all things chili peppers. Learn the best ways to grow them, how to relieve chili burn, and make your own salsas, curry powders, hot sauces, jams, and chutneys to incorporate your favorite chili peppers of any spice range into your everyday meals.
UK chili expert and Chile Foundry blogger Floyd throws his knowledge into a study of 100 of the most popular chili varieties in this informative, but occasionally puzzling primer. He starts strong with a brief history of the migration of chilies, the story behind Tabasco, and offers perhaps the most important information of all: how to tame chili burn. Turning his attention to chili varietals, he extols their individual virtues, flavor profiles, and heat levels. Recognizable peppers like Pasilla, Pepperoncini, Cayenne, and Serrano are described (as is the unfortunate but aptly named Peter Pepper whose phallic shape is described by Floyd as “most distinct—once seen, never forgotten”). Readers on this side of the pond will find some glaring omissions such as the infamous Ghost chili and the Hatch chili, neither of which is mentioned here. After covering the basics, Floyd offers a strange mishmash of chili-inspired dishes that include curry powder, chili mustard, chilaquiles, as well as oddballs like Cincinnati Fiveway Chili and Gyoza Dumplings. Chiliheads will likely find the book to be too pedestrian for their tastes, but those in the honeymoon phase of chili appreciation may find the book useful.