Your guide to the food and culture of the tropics


Which Hot Pepper Suits Your Personality?

The hot pepper is a common attendee at dinner tables around the globe. Even if they are not sliced up and added to a dish, they are placed on the table in the form of hot sauce – like the wildly popular Sriracha. Humans are the only species on the planet that consciously seeks out spicy flavours and the enjoyable pain they deliver. Turns out there might be a biological reason.

We have the ingredient capsaicin to thank for our love of hot peppers. It’s an active component in chilli peppers that produces the burning sensation in our mouths. The heat of capsaicin allows us to push the limits and flirt with danger without any real risks. When we dig into hot foods, capsaicin connects with our primary sensors for heat and pain – releasing feel-good endorphins. Those endorphins have us reaching for spicy dishes over and over again to experience that rush.

Hot peppers come in a variety of flavours and heat to suit almost any palate. Which hot pepper suits your personality best?


The Health Benefits of Hot Peppers

Hot peppers are as good for us as they are delicious. They are great for the heart and lower cholesterol as the capsaicin in them blocks a gene that encourages arteries to contract. Some studies have shown hot peppers can aid in weight loss because they increase satiety. They are a great pain reliever, too, by desensitizing our skin’s sensory receptors. The capsaicin triggers a signal deactivates sensitization channels in the neurons in our body, resulting in a numbing of the tissue.

The health benefits of hot peppers combined with the heavy quantities of vitamins and antioxidants make them a superfood – perhaps one of the reasons we enjoy their kick so much. There are so many healthy spicy recipes out there that it’s easy to enjoy a bit of spice every single day.


Which Hot Pepper is Best For You?

Cayenne – For the Popular and Versatile

Cayenne are popular hot peppers featured in a tonne of spicy sauce recipes from all over the world, like Romesco sauce and Louisiana Hot Sauce. Stemming from French Guiana, these thin, tropical peppers pack a punch with their fiery flavour and are the perfect choice for those looking to try a common pepper that gets around. These peppers are popular and versatile, making them perfect for social butterflies who can fit into any situation.


Cayenne Pepper


Jalapeno – For the Friendly and Outgoing

Jalapenos are one of the better-known hot peppers, showing up in all sorts of spicy food recipes – particularly those of Mexican origin. They are a familiar and fun way to turn any dish into a colourful party. With its thick flesh and distinctive, mild-to-spicy flavour, the jalapeno is the perfect choice for sharing sauces like salsa – making them the ideal hot pepper for fun-loving socialites.

Jalapeno Pepper


Piri Piri – For the Small and Fiery

Piri Piri sauce has become a bit of a phenomenon over recent years, with its hot spicy recipes showing up in various regions around the world. The hot peppers it comes from are tiny and skinny in shape, but can easily set mouths on fire with their intense heat. Though they’ve gone global recently, you’ll usually find Piri Piris in tropical African cuisine. With their burst of hot flavour and tiny size, these hot peppers are perfect for fiery individuals.

Piri Piri

Piri Piri

Aji Limo – For the Fun and Fruity

Originating from the north coast of Peru, aji limo hot peppers are best-known for their part in sweet spicy recipes for ceviche though they can also be regularly found in tropical rice dishes. Their distinctive citrus flavour makes them the perfect ingredient for fruity dishes, but don’t be fooled – they’re still incredibly hot. The fun and fruity base flavour of these hot peppers make them ideal for free-spirited, fun-loving people looking for a little adventure.

Coban – For the Sultry and Stylish

Popular across Guatemala and southern Mexico, these tiny smoked chillies resemble Chipotle peppers but with a much heftier kick. Some of the best spicy recipes out there include these little gems for their unique, deep flavour, including many traditional, smoky Central American dishes. The sophisticated flavour of these hot peppers are perfect for stylish individuals who want to inject a sultry elegance into their food.

Carolina Reaper – For the Daring and Adventurous

This list wouldn’t be complete without featuring the hottest pepper in the world. The Carolina Reaper was given this title in 2015 and should only be reserved for the most adventurous eaters. With Scoville rankings reaching up to 2,200,000, this really is the most daring pepper you can put past your lips. The intense heat of these peppers is ideal for thrill seekers looking for a daring addition to dinner.

Carolina Reaper

Carolina Reaper

There are so many different varieties of hot peppers that it’s easy to find one to suit your mood and menu – whether you’re looking for a fiery kick that will get eyes watering or a fruity flavour that packs a zingy punch.


Written by

Lizzie is a freelance travel writer who spends her time between sunny Spain and not-so-sunny England. When she’s not exploring new cities or wandering through art galleries you can find her chatting about the freelancing life on Twitter (, Facebook (, and on her blog, Wanderful World ( Give her a cup of tea and a good view and she’ll be happy for hours.