For some years now, chillies have been ubiquitous in all good delicatessens and on the great tables of our national gastronomy.
In an article entitled "le boom du piment made in France", published in issue no. 3 of "smoked" magazine (April 2023), Tina Meyer explains that "our gastronomy (...) has long prided itself on being the culinary model of excellence... relegating street and world cuisine - spicy food - to a minor art". She adds that hot sauce is no longer seen as "a corrector used to make up a dish without relief", but rather as "a flavor revelator, an organoleptic booster, on a par with salt, pepper or mustard". Let's try and understand why chilli is becoming an increasingly important part of the French culinary landscape.
The rise of international cuisine: With the growing popularity of world cuisine, and in particular the opening of numerous fusion cuisine outlets, customers are increasingly exposed to spicy dishes from different cultures. Mexican, Indian, Thai and Korean dishes, to name but a few, often include hot peppers, democratizing their consumption.
Health benefits: Chillies contain health-promoting compounds such as capsaicin, which can help reduce inflammation, improve digestion and boost metabolism. As we become increasingly aware of these health benefits, we're incorporating more chillies into our diets. Read our article on chillies' ability to boost your immune system.
TV cooking shows have also contributed to the growing popularity of chillies. Celebrity chefs often use chillies in their dishes, prompting people to try new spicy recipes at home. You've probably already come across the show hot ones, where Kyan Khojandi welcomes a celebrity for an unprecedented face-to-face chat about their career, background and commitments, giving them a taste of increasingly intense hot sauces.
Changing eating habits: Eating habits have also evolved over time, with a growing preference for spicy foods and bold flavors. Chillies offer a unique flavour and intense taste experience that appeal to more and more people, and meet specific needs at the crossroads of health and indulgence.