Chasing Chiles: Hot Spots Along the Pepper Trail by Kurt Michael Friese, Kraig Kraft, and Gary Paul Nabhan, was reviewed this weekend in the Wall Street Journal. Read Aram Bakshian Jr.’s assesment here, and see a sample below.
Ancient Mexicans were gathering and eating chile peppers 9,000 years ago, but the pungent pods didn’t make it to the rest of the world until Christopher Columbus introduced them in the early 16th century. Since then chiles have become an intricate part of cuisines as varied as those of Spain, Hungary, Turkey and Indochina. The authors of “Chasing Chiles”—Kurt Michael Friese (a chef), Kraig Kraft (an agroecologist) and Gary Paul Nabhan (an ethnobotanist)—observe that the chile has served as a vegetable (think grilled or stuffed peppers), a condiment (Tabasco), a pest repellent, a medicine (in parts of Africa chiles are a remedy for piles, though the cure may be worse than the disease) and even the poison on an archer’s arrow tip. All of which explains why more than 25 million metric tons of chili peppers are harvested annually world-wide.The authors of “Chasing Chiles” bring an interesting mix of perspectives to their subject as they take readers on a year-long road trip, visiting America’s pepper-growing states and Mexico’s chile zones in a van dubbed The Spice Ship…Continue reading at WSJ.com. Chasing Chiles is available now and on sale through March 31st!