Alone, pickled, stewed, whole, chopped, crushed, ground, roasted, toreado, salted, in a taco, in a jam, in a cocktail and even in an ice cream! I’m talking about the quintessential Mexican condiment that gives flavor to soups, to the moles and sauces, one of the main symbols of Mexican cuisine: chili.
It is more than clear to me that you can’t mention Mexico without saying chile, sometimes I wonder what it would be of a taco without a good chili sauce. Anyone who presumes to be Mexican enjoys the chili in all forms – there are few dishes that lack this element.
But, why do we enjoy the feeling of being enchilados? Even though the chili could be extra spicy we love putting our souls in flames; it seems that the spicier it is, the more addictive it gets–no doubt Mexicans are masochists; every time the chili burns our mouth, we experience pleasure and pain at the same time. This unique feeling is due to the substance known as Capsaicin, component responsible for the spiciness of the chili and the production of endorphins that emit pleasure and comfort signals, hence our love-hate relationship with the ingredient.
If you, my good reader, are not a faithful fan of chilli – like many, I invite you to begin enjoying it (at your own risk and moderation, of course), Mexican cuisine is a vast encyclopedia of flavors to be discovered, and by leaving the chilli out of the diet you’re missing an important piece of our culture and enchilarse, believe me, is a pleasure and a nice torture.