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101 Chilies to Try Before You Die: Book Review

101 Chilies to Try Before You Die Book Review
I recently received a copy of the new book by chile savant David Floyd called 101 Chilies to Try Before You Die. It's a small book at only 4.5 x 7 inches, and one that I'd classify as a reference book. Filled with facts about chilies that span the Scoville scale, it's not just for heat seekers and chile heads, though I imagine it would be a welcome addition to their library.

The book begins with an introduction by the author that includes a listing of common chili species, a list of wild chilies, and some key terms to lend a little insight to your journey into this amazing diverse horticultural world.
page excerpt 1
Beginning with sweet & mild and concluding with superhot, the bulk of this book devotes a double-page spread to each of the 101 featured chili peppers. Each chili pepper listed in the book has a photograph, Scoville Rating, species, pod description, growing info, and at least one suggested seed supplier. Some also list alternate names and/or uses for that variety.

Of the 101 chilies featured, some are names you may recognize like Bird's Eye, Carolina Reaper, Tabasco, Serrano, Chipotle, Jalapeño, and Sport Pepper. There are also some fun and unexpected names and varieties like Bangalore Torpedo, Turtle Claw, Fatalii Gourmet Jigsaw, Pink Tiger, and Peter Pepper (or Chilli Willy or Penis Pepper).
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Some, like the coffee bean and pequin are incredibly tiny, while the Ací Sivri Pepper is long and slender, growing to 8.5 inches. Colors range from red, green, yellow and orange, to purple and even white.

Whether you're on a mission to find the hottest chili pepper around or just enjoy having a little useful knowledge at your fingertips, this small book is a large fount of information.

101 Chilies to Try Before You Die

101 Chilies to Try Before You Die

author: David Floyd
publisher: Firefly Books (October 1, 2016)
photos: yes
hard cover:224 pages

synopsis: A comprehensive guide to tasting, growing, preserving and cooking chili peppers.

101 Chilies to Try Before You Die is an all-in-one guide to the fruit of the genus Capsicum, or chilies, which contain capsaicin, a natural chemical that causes effects ranging from a slight tingle on the tongue to stinging pain. It is that heat that makes chilies a dynamite recipe ingredient and a taste challenge.

The author has selected a cross-section of 101 chilies from the five commonly cultivated chili species. The listings note their place on the Scoville scale (a measure of heat). Sidebars describe the species name, the appearance of the pod, how to grow the chili, seed suppliers, culinary usage, and alternative names. Text describes where the chili originated, its introduction to regional cuisines, the people who developed it, and more. There is information on varieties, how to dry or preserve the pods, and suggestions and recipes to create sauces, rubs, and spice mixes.

The 101 chilies are organized into five categories based on their heat profiles:
  • Sweet and Mild -- While some of these 23 chilies are familiar (e.g., Cubanelle, Hungarian Hot Wax), a bit of experimentation will yield surprising taste discoveries, like the Zavory Pepper which is one of many newer chilies developed to retain the taste profile of a hot Habanero while being mild.
  • Warm -- 51 chilies make this the largest category. Jalapeno, cayenne and tabasco live here, but there are many warm varieties that range from hot-sweet to lemony, with unique uses in the kitchen.
  • Hot -- Hot is hot and for many people these 14 are quite hot enough. But some may still tempt the brave, like the exceptionally tasty, sweet, fruity, citrusy Goronog.
  • Very Hot -- These eight are for the truly courageous. The Bubblegum 7 was named by its amateur breeder who found that it reminded him of Bubblicious Bubblegum.
  • Superhot -- The current Guinness World Record holder for hottest pepper is the Carolina Reaper, clocking in at 2,890,000 SHU.
101 Chilies to Try Before You Die is a fascinating climb up the Scoville scale. It is a food guide, recipe book, culinary history, and the ultimate reference for chili enthusiasts, fans of spicy food, and those who want to challenge their taste buds.

chapters/sections: Sweet & Mild | Warm | Hot | Very Hot | Superhot | Seed & Plug Plant Suppliers

about the author: David Floyd has been making and selling chili pepper products for over 20 years. His website, the Chile Foundry, supplies thousands of people in the UK and Europe with chilies and chili-related products. Connect with the author on facebook and twitter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway is open to residents of the USA and Canada only. Submissions will be accepted through 11:59 pm ET on Thursday, July 14, 2016. One winner will be chosen via random draw and notified via email within 48 hours of the close of this contest, and given 24 hours in which to respond. If no response is received within that time frame, a new winner will be chosen. All entries will be verified.

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.