The spice of life

In an increasingly multicultural United States, the Hispanicization of the food we eat goes without saying, and if you want to know where we’re going, it’s best if you learn a little something about the humble chili pepper. We all know it can pack a wallop, but its history— and the science behind how it does what it does— is more interesting than simple, intense, searing pain. And that, alone, can be seen as a good metaphor for the changing culture of the country.