Jessica Festa a RoamRight Blog Author

Top Destinations For Spicy Food Lovers

SpiceContent

For those who love food with a burn, you know how difficult it can be to find spicy experiences that live up to their claims. While restaurants often advertise their dishes as being dangerously hot, it’s not easy to please a true pepper head. Luckily, the following destinations offer genuinely spicy experiences that will leave you pleasantly perspiring and your palate burn addiction satisfied.

New Orleans, Louisiana

Home to the USA’s best Cajun and Creole, visitors to New Orleans will have many opportunities to savor spicy food. Your first stop in the city should be the Pepper Palace, home to the Hottest Sauce in the Universe: The 2nd Dimension, which claim’s to be the hottest hot sauce around the globe and beyond. Here you can sample over 1,000 hot sauces, jams, dips, butters, salsas and spreads free of charge. At District Donut Sliders Brew, hot heads can sample a strawberry-jalapeno with cream cheese icing donut, while Sukho Thai offers a menu of homemade sauces, with one -- called Thai Hot -- that will have you screaming for a fire truck. For a drink, Batch Bar serves up a “Heated Situation” made with Anaheim Pepper-infused vodka, while Basin Seafood & Spirits creates the “Yucatan Firecracker,” featuring pickled jalapeno. And for a local spicy dish order a hot sausage at venues like Creole Country, Vaucresson Sausage Company and Crescent Pie & Sausage.

 

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Known as the “Chile Capital of the World,” there’s no shortage of spicy experiences to be had in New Mexico. In fact, the state is the only one in the country to have an official question -- “Red or green?” -- in reference to what kind of chile you want with your meal. While you can find chile-inspired offerings all over the state, Albuquerque in particular has a number of attractions and events that bring the heat, for example, the annual Viva New Mexico Chile Festival in nearby Los Lunas featuring fresh chiles, chile-infused foods, a chile cook off, agricultural exhibits, outdoor games, live music and more. Other chile-focused things to do include sampling free chile chocolates at The Candy Lady, picking your own green chiles at Wagner’s Farmland Experience, sipping at green chile beer at ABQ Brew Pub, munching on green chile pizza at Farina Pizzeria, relaxing with a red chile-infused “Ancient Drumming” spa treatment at the Tamaya Mist in the Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort & Spa. At El Pinto during chile season -- which runs from about July to October -- you can watch freshly picked green chiles being roasted and enjoy complimentary samples of the spicy pepper. Keep in mind that simply walking into a New Mexican restaurant allows you to sample a number of green chile-infused dishes. For a spicy day trip, Hatch is located less than three hours away and is where New Mexico’s signature variety of chile is grown.

 

Trinidad

Home to the hottest pepper in the world -- the Trinidad Scorpion Moruga Blend -- those wanting to feel the burn should head to Trinidad. In fact, the pepper registers at over 2 million Scoville Heat Units, equivalent to about 400 jalapenos. If you want to try the pepper for yourself, simply browse the many markets and supermarkets on the island. For a festival experience, the Divali Nagar is a celebration of Hindu and Indo-Trinidadian culture with a spicy side. The event is well known for its food vendors serving a special dish that packs a ton of heat: pepper roti. The extremely spicy meal features two buss-up-shot rotis stuffed with spicy peppers. And as majority of Trinidad’s population has an East Asian/Indian background along with European, African and Caribbean influence, you’ll be able to sample a number of other tongue-tingling dishes like doubles, roti and tamarind balls, made even hotter by adding the popular island condiment of homemade pepper sauce.

 

Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan

Located in the foothills of Mt. Fuji, Shizuoka introduces visitors to the land of wasabi. The prefecture is Japan’s leading wasabi-producing area, meaning you’ll be able to experience a variety of interesting wasabi-enhanced foods: wasabi white chocolate, wasabi ice cream, wasabi pudding, wasabi spreads, wasabi salad dressings, wasabi pickle and even wasabi shochu and sake. Keep in mind not all wasabi is created equal. In Shizuoka you’ll sample true wasabi, ground fresh from the wasabi plant. While it’s not hard to find great wasabi establishments, it’s not always easy to get around when you don’t know the area and signs aren’t in English. A smart idea is to hire a local guide who can take you to meet local wasabi farmers, see how wasabi is cultivated, taste wasabi-infused foods, and shop at “chachka stands” for products dyed green with natural dye from the wasabi plant.

 

India

While Indian food in western countries tends to pack a lot of heat, you haven’t tried anything until you sample the cuisine in the country itself. India’s culinary culture focuses on both spice -- dishes containing a variety of spices like aniseed, cinnamon, coriander and cumin  -- and heat, which comes from the common use of ingredients like chili powder, dried red chilies and fresh green chilies. This leads to dishes that impart a slow burn even the most passionate pepper heads find hard to handle. For a truly call-an-ambulance-my-mouth-is-on-fire experience, vindaloo curry is touted as one of the world’s hottest dishes. Featuring meat marinated in red wine, garlic and vinegar, it’s then stewed in a broth of Bhut Jolokia (ghost peppers), named the hottest chili pepper in the world according to the Guinness Book of Records until 2012 when the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion took over the title. Sampling the meal will be the highlight of the trip for any spicy food enthusiast.

What's your favorite spicy food?

About the Author

Jessica Festa

Jessica Festa, a RoamRight Blog Author Jessica Festa is a full-time travel writer who is always up for an adventure. She enjoys getting lost in new cities and having experiences you don’t read about in guidebooks. Some of her favorite travel experiences have been teaching English in Thailand, trekking her way through South America, backpacking Europe solo, road tripping through Australia and doing orphanage work in Ghana. You can follow her adventures on her travel websites, Epicure & Culture and Jessie On A Journey. You can also connect with Jessica directly on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus, or follow her epicurean adventures on Facebook and Twitter.

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