Hot Enough For Ya?

Last week archaeologists reported in the journal Science that they had found traces of domesticated chili peppers on 6,000-year-old cooking utensils used in South and Central America, suggesting that New World cuisine was more sophisticated than once imagined. "It looks like people have liked spicy food for a very long time," says lead researcher Linda Perry of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. Which of course raises the question: Just how spicy did they like it? In Scoville Heat Units—a measure of capsaicinoids, the chemicals that give food "heat"—the picante peppers of prehistoric Peru pale in comparison with today's hottest...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!