Thai food is one of the most famous cuisines in the world, and it is especially known for its spiciness. Many famous Thai dishes such as Som Tum (Thai papaya salad) and Tom Yum Koong (sour hot Thai soup with prawns) are quite spicy yet refreshing to eat. Apart from the hot and spicy kick, spices add aromas, textures, and colors to the dishes. The origin of chili peppers in Thai food, however, dates back to the late 1600s, when chilies were brought to Thailand by European traders. Chili peppers blended well with Thai ingredients, so they have been adopted into Thai culinary traditions ever since.
But why do Thai people love eating spicy food so much? There are many theories surrounding this topic. Some notice that spices are very popular in hot countries because they induce sweating, which is body's powerful cooling mechanism. Another theory is that food spoils faster in hot countries and spices can help slow down food spoilage due to their anti-microbial properties. Since spices grow well in hot climates, they are also inexpensive to buy and use as an ingredient. Therefore, spices become an integral part of most Thai dishes.
In addition to those theories, Thai people enjoy spicy dishes because of their countless health benefits. Capsaicin, which is a chemical compound found in chili peppers, can temporarily boosts metabolism and causes the body to burn more calories. According to Harvard School of Public Health, eating spicy food may lead to a longer life. Studies have shown that consuming spicy food six to seven times a week reduces mortality risk by 14 percent. It lowers blood sugar, reduces bad cholesterol levels and helps clear up congestion in sinuses and lungs. Surprisingly, eating spicy food can also make you feel good and happy! Capsaicin, which causes the burning sensation, triggers our brain to release endorphins to reduce our perception of pain, and these endorphins induce feelings of euphoria and pleasure. Unfortunately, too much of anything is never a good thing. Eating too much spicy food may scorch your taste buds and hurt your stomach. Though these effects are only temporary, it is better not to burn your tongue since the first try!
Here at Louder Louder, you can choose your own level of spiciness according to your liking since we know that every one of us have different levels of tolerance to spicy food. For those who never experience Thai level of spiciness before, it is best to start small. And when you are getting familiar to the heat, you can gradually increase the amount of spices. Embrace and immerse yourself into the world of Louder Louder, let us show you why Thais and millions of people around the world can never have enough of authentic spicy Thai food!