Why is delicious food especially popular in countries with high temperatures? This question has preoccupied researchers for decades. a Analysis of nearly 34,000 recipes From regions around the world now brings some insight into international cuisine.
One theory is that cultures in hot climates use chili peppers, lemongrass, and other spices because their ingredients have antimicrobial properties and thus prevent the risk of food spoilage or food poisoning. To test this hypothesis, biologist Lindel Broomham of the Australian National University in Canberra and her colleagues tested recipes from 70 regional cuisines containing 93 different herbs and spices. Using statistical models, they determined whether factors such as local planting of plants were associated with their use. Unlike ancient studies, they also took into account the geographical and cultural relationships between the different kitchens.
The team found that other factors were more related to the use of spices in a country than the frequency of foodborne infections occurring there. Also, the average number of spices in a meal has nothing to do with local temperatures. It is closely related to social and economic factors such as poverty as measured by GDP and low life expectancy.