The Devil's Dinner: A Gastronomic and Cultural History of Chili Peppers, by Stuart Walton
The Devil's Dinner is the first authoritative history of chilli peppers.
There are countless books on cooking with chillies, but no book goes into depth about the biological, gastronomical, and cultural impact this forbidden fruit has had upon people all over the world. The story has been too hot to handle.
A billion dollar industry, hot peppers are especially popular in the United States, where a superhot movement is on the rise. Hot peppers started out in Mexico and South America, came to Europe with returning Spanish travellers, lit up Iberian cuisine with piri-piri and pimientos, continued along eastern trade routes, boosted mustard and pepper in cuisines of the Indian subcontinent, then took overland routes to central Europe in the paprika of Hungarian and Austrian dumplings, devilled this and devilled that… they've been everywhere!
The Devil's Dinner tells the history of hot peppers and captures the rise of the superhot movement.
“I would really like to avoid cliches, so I won’t describe Stuart Walton’s book as spicy or hot… Walton and the chili pepper do each other great service in a tale that’s part cultural adventure, part culinary exploration, and completely entertaining.” - Dan Koeppel, author of Banana: The Fate of the Fruit That Changed the World
“[A] fascinating overview of the cultural and culinary changes wrought by a fiery little fruit ‘that was only telling human beings that it didn’t want to be eaten.’” - Publishers Weekly