For some of us, “spicy” food is either downing a whole bag of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos on a Friday night in our sweats or the occasional dare to eat the whole dollop of wasabi on the side of our take out sushi container. While both of those things are certainly impressive for less adventurous eaters, it’s barely scratching the surface of hottest foods around the world. The Hot Hot Hot Express is leaving the station – jump in! First stop, Peru.
CAU CAU – PERU
Welcome to Peru, land of llamas, adventure, culture and food. While ceviche may be the most popular dish to come from this South American country, it’s certainly not the hottest. If it’s spice you’re looking for, Cau Cau is the meal for you. This stew-like mixture uses loads of yellow chili peppers, local to the area along with ginger, giving it its heat. Not only is this dish spicy hot, but it is also served piping hot.
JERK CHICKEN – JAMAICA
Okay, you may have already heard of this one and probably have even tried and loved it. But nothing beats having authentic jerk chicken, with your toes in the sand, in Jamaica. This dish can be described as sweet and tangy, but it will be sure to give you that kick of spice. The spice comes from “scotch bonnet” sauce that is actually habanero peppers and allspice with other spices such as cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, thyme and garlic. Don’t forget to have a cold beverage on standby.
SICHUAN HOT-POT – CHINA
Let’s cruise on over to China for a winter favorite. Sichuan hot-pot will be sure to warm you up from the inside out. Not for the faint of heart, this meal will leave your taste buds numb for possibly days on end. Sichuan peppers are the key to this hot success. Enjoy this dish as either a broth soup or dunk your favorite cut of meat, vegetables or noodles into the simmering broth for a fun “fondue-like” experience.
JJAMBBONG – KOREA
Just a hop, skip and a jump down to Korea for some spicy Korean noodle soup called Jjambbong. If you’re a fan of seafood and veggies, this is the soup for you. The red broth is flavored with gochugaru which is a chili powder made from sun-dried Korean red chili peppers that is sure to bring the sweet, smokey and spicy flavor to your taste buds.
HABANERO SALSA – MEXICO
Last but not least, the hottest on our hot hot hot scale, is Habanero Salsa! Indigenous to the Yucatan peninsula in Mexico, habanero peppers are some of the hottest on the Scoville Scale. While we suggest trying authentic habanero salsa in Mexico, you can attempt to make it yourself at home by charring habaneros, tomatoes, onion and garlic cloves in a pan. Once soft, puree with a little apple cider vinegar and a bit of oil. OH! and you’re going to want to de-seed the habaneros.
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