- Not Exactly Rocket Science
Why aren’t all chillies hot?
Chillies come in many degrees of heat, from the sweet painless bell peppers to the “Trinidad Scorpion Butch T pepper”, a superlatively hot chili that needs to be handled with gloves. A less dramatic range also exists in the wild: some chillies are hot, and others are not. In supermarkets, the spectrum of heat is the result of clever breeding. It the wild, it’s due to a tension between two threats: drought and disease.
Hot chillies owe their mouth-watering bite to substances call capsaicinoids – a unique breed of chemical weapon wielded only by these plants. The weapon targets proteins that detect excessive heat, delivering an intense burning feeling without any actual burning. Birds, which pollinate chillies, don’t have