November 25, 2021

Presenting Gastropod: How Chilis Conquered the World

by Science Vs

Background show artwork for Science Vs

This week we’ve got a spicy treat for you: a show called Gastropod. Hosts Nicola Twilley and Cynthia Graber dig into the world of food and serve up a forkful of science, plus a dash of history. In this episode: chili peppers! Why do we love spicy things when they set our mouths on fire? Plus, where did chilis come from — and how did they take over the world?

Find more Gastropod here:

Gastropod thanks: the Somerville, Mass., store Christina’s Spices, which ships all around the country—they have the best selection of chiles Cynthia has found anywhere online, even compared to places that specialize in chiles. And if you want to do a tasting, you’ll want the New Mexico State University Chile Pepper Institute chile tasting wheel, which Danise helped develop. It’s got heat profile notes and flavor notes and it’s a lot of fun to use. Thanks also to Maricel Presilla, Danise Coon, Harold McGee, Pam Dalton, and Edward Wang. 

Science Vs is hosted and executive produced by Wendy Zukerman; our producers are Michelle Dang, Rose Rimler, Meryl Horn and Ekedi Fausther-Keeys. Editing by Blythe Terrell. Mix and sound design by Bumi Hidaka. Music by Peter Leonard, Emma Munger and Bobby Lord.