Chili peppers have a wonderful attribute in their ability to release endorphins, natural painkillers triggered to put out internal “fire.” Endorphins also cause the high of extreme physical exertion — a floating, energized feeling so powerful in its pleasure that it can cause addiction to spicy cuisine.
Among its additional attributes, chili peppers increase heart rate, doubling the pleasure of a mealtime rendezvous. So powerful is its chest thumping ability, chili have actually been administered as an antidote for heart attacks.
With a power to raise body temperature and make lips swell to a kissable plump pout, the effects of eating red hot chili peppers can telegraph the visual cues of a sexual flush. It is believed that this sexy physical attribute can put a lover’s mind in the mood with as little as one delicious glance.
Each of the hundreds of chili varieties produce a different level of heat and subtly unique flavor. Chipotles promise a smokiness, from which even the merest whiff is arousing. Habaneros are among the most hot, thereby the most dangerous. The heat of chili peppers is concentrated in the veins. To decrease heat, remove the veins before cooking the peppers.
Historically, chili peppers were used by multiple cultures not only as an aphrodisiac but as an anesthetic, to promote cardiovascular health and to alleviate chronic pain. Most famously, chile was used a key ingredient in the fortifying chocolate drink the great ruler Montezuma consumed to make his tongue dance and his pulse quicken in preparation for his daily visit to his beautiful concubines.