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When the going gets hot, reach for chilli and forget the ice cream!

Summer is well and truly here, the sun is out (occasionally), we’ll be reaching for that ice cream or glass of iced water to cool us down. We probably won’t be reaching for a bowl of spicy hot curry, although maybe we should!

Chillies came to us in Europe from South America before heading off to India and beyond where their popularity really took hold. When you think about ‘hot’ food in the chilli sense, you think of places like India, Thailand, the West Indies, and South America. They all have one thing in common – a climate several shades warmer than our own.

There are many reasons to love chilli and one especially big reason to love it if you live somewhere hot: eating it cools actually you down, and it cools you down more effectively than eating an ice cream! It may seem counter-intuitive at first glance but there’s merit in the madness.

Ice cream provides brief respite from the heat as you feel it cool your mouth and throat. It soon reaches your stomach and your body starts to feel its internal temperature dropping. To compensate for this, your body starts to raise your temperature leaving you feeling hotter than before you’d eaten the ice cream. Less than ideal!

Chilli works in the opposite way, it raises your body’s internal temperature. Your body then reacts by trying to cool you down. Your circulation increases, you start to sweat, and your sweat evaporates, leaving you cooler than before. Much better!

Hot and spicy food doesn’t just have to be curry, you can add a little chilli to almost any dish you can think of. And chillies aren’t only about adding heat to your food - our amazing Kashmiri Chilli Flakes are all about adding flavour, perfume and vibrant colour to a dish just as much as cooling you down!

Tell us your favourite types of chilli, how you use them and in what dishes and we’ll send a bag of Kashmiri chilli flakes to the most interesting one!

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