Chili lovers celebrate National Hot Heads Chili Day on January 17 every year. On this day, chili heads, heat-seekers, and extreme eaters try out the spiciest chilis. National Hot Heads Chili Day is celebrated with habanero-eating challenges, fancy-dress contests, and cook-offs of popular recipes. Chilis are also made to take the official Scoville heat scale. This doesn’t mean that you have to be a daredevil to celebrate the day — anyone who likes their meal a little hot can celebrate the day! Spices and chilis add a distinct flavor to the dish. Thai, Indian, Creole and Caribbean dishes are famous for their heat content and boast of some excellent gastronomic experiences!
History of National Hot Heads Chili Day
We don’t quite know how National Hot Heads Chili Day came to be but it’s safe to say that one fine day all the chili lovers got together and decided to celebrate hot and spicy food. This makes sense given how humans have always had a knack for chilis in their food — the first recipes for spicy foods go back to 6,000 years! This means that humans have been enjoying spicy food for quite some time. While the foods that we enjoy today may have changed and recipes altered, we still love spicy food. Unlike other animals, humans prefer spicy food simply because it tastes so incredible and on a plus side, spices also offer several health benefits.
Spices such as turmeric and cumin that have powerful antimicrobial and antioxidant properties can kill bacteria outright. Studies show that the capsaicin in hot peppers can reduce inflammation and decrease the chances of heart disease. It can also aid in weight loss. In Ayurvedic medicine, the inflammatory properties of chilis have brought relief from many different conditions, such as headaches, autoimmune disorders, and arthritis. Spicy foods can also help fasten your metabolism. Studies also show that certain spices, like pepper chilies, turmeric, cinnamon, and cumin can curb your appetite and improve your metabolic resting rate. Who knew chilis could be so versatile!
National Hot Heads Chili Day timeline
Chilis are grown and cultivated for the first time.
Vasco-da-Gama reaches Indian shores and introduces India to chilis.
Wilbur L. Scoville finds a new method to measure the pungency of chilis.
Larry Lavine opens the first Chili's in Dallas.
National Hot Heads Chili Day FAQs
Are chillies native to India?
After the Portuguese arrival in India, chilies were first introduced to Goa, from where they spread to South India. Today, India is the largest producer of red dried chili in the world.
Which chili is the spiciest?
A Guinness Book record holder, Bhut Jolokia is certified as the hottest chili in the world. It is also known as ‘ghost pepper’ and is cultivated in Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Nagaland, and Manipur.
Which chili is the healthiest?
Green chilies have high water content and zero calories which makes them a healthy choice for those who are trying to shed some pounds.
National Hot Heads Chili Day Activities
Host a dinner party
Chilis are regularly used in Indian, Chinese, and Thai cooking. Host a dinner party and serve these cuisines to friends and family.
Learn about different chilis from around the world
On National Hot Heads Chili Day, learn more about the different chilies that are available around the world. There are so many different types, including Carolina Reapers, Ghost Peppers, Habanero, Red Cayenne Pepper, Serrano, Guajillo, Poblano, Peppadew, and much more.
Organize a cook-off
Invite your friends over and see who can create the best hot and spicy dish. Flavor your dishes with different types of chilis and find out which one is the hottest.
5 Facts About Chilis That Will Blow Your Mind
Chilis can make you happy
They help release feel-good endorphins and dopamine, which results in a sense of euphoria.
The Japanese had an innovative use
Instead of eating them, the Japanese put them in their socks to keep their toes warm.
They are rich in nutrients
They contain large amounts of vitamin C, provitamin A, and beta-carotene.
Only mammals are sensitive to chilis
Capsaicin may burn and irritate the flesh of mammals but birds are completely immune to its effects
They can be used as first aid
Cayenne pepper can help stop bleeding.
Why We Love National Hot Heads Chili Day
A day to enjoy your favorite foods
Most of us love spicy foods but it’s not possible to savor them every day. National Hot Heads Chili Day offers the perfect opportunity to indulge in your favorite spicy food.
Try a new cuisine
If you don't have an adventurous palate, today is the best day to rectify that. Sample spicy foods from India, Thailand, the Philippines, and the Caribbean.
A day to be adventurous
If you are an adventurous foodie, then National Hot Heads Chili Day invites you to taste some of the hottest and steamiest chilies from the world over. Go on a gastronomic adventure today!
National Hot Heads Chili Day dates