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Chilli Peppers in Literature: A Spicy Journey through time

Chilli Peppers in Literature: A Spicy Journey through time

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Chilli peppers have been around for thousands of years, and they have been used in different ways throughout history. From medicinal purposes to culinary uses, chillis have left their mark on many cultures around the world. In this blog post, we take a look at how chilli peppers have been represented in literature over the years.

The earliest reference to chilli peppers in literature can be found in the work of Bernardino de Sahagún, a Spanish missionary who came to Mexico in the 16th century. In his work, he describes the use of chillis by the Aztecs in their cuisine and medicine. He even included a recipe for a chilli sauce that was used to flavour their food.

Charles Dickens' "The Pickwick Papers" (1836): In the novel, Dickens refers to "cayenne pepper" in a recipe for a warming drink called "hot elder wine." This suggests that the spiciness of the pepper was recognized and appreciated in 19th-century England.

Harper Lee's "To Kill a Mockingbird" (1960): In this classic American novel, the character Calpurnia makes a dish called "crackling bread," which is served with a side of hot pepper sauce. This not only adds flavor to the dish, but also highlights the Southern cuisine of the setting.
Laura Esquivel's "Like Water for Chocolate" (1989): This Mexican novel is set during the Mexican Revolution and has several references to chili peppers and their significance in Mexican cuisine. One of the most prominent scenes involves the protagonist, Tita, making a dish called "Quail in Rose Petal Sauce," which uses "de arbol" chili peppers as an ingredient.
Isabel Allende's "The House of the Spirits" (1982): In this novel, chili peppers play a symbolic role in the story. The character Clara uses the chili pepper to predict the future and create talismans. It represents not only the spice of life but also the power of intuition.
The use of chillis in literature reflects their cultural significance and impact on cuisine. So if you're an aspiring author perhaps you'll be inspired by our chilli sauces! We've even got sauce inspired by writer Earnest Hemingway: The Bull.