Want to know what spicy food is like in other countries? Not only do we explore the food from different continents, but we also show you how these cultures influence each other and you’ll learn about the relationships between spices and the foods that are already popular around the world.
Spices are originally planted products that add flavor, taste, and other properties to food. Spices are added in small quantities to impart specific flavor and taste to food.
If you love the heat, then you should definitely travel to these countries and experience true spicy food. Just be prepared for some tears of joy and pain. These people sure know how to spice it up and turn their meals into explosive sensory experiences.
The 14 Spicy Food Cultures of the World
Thailand is a country known for its spicy food. In fact, it’s one of the most popular destinations for those who want to try Thai cuisine.
Thai cuisine is a popular choice for those who want to try something spicy, as the cuisine is known for its use of chili peppers. Thai food incorporates elements from neighboring Southeast Asian countries, as well as China, India, and Europe.
Thai food is usually eaten with a fork and spoon, but it can be eaten with one’s hands as well. The typical Thai meal consists of rice served alongside other dishes such as curries, stir-fried noodles, and soups.
The Thai people are known to have a sweet tooth and they love their desserts.
Malaysia is one of the hottest, most humid countries in Southeast Asia. It’s no surprise that its cuisine is spicy.
The food here is often served with a variety of chili sauces, called sambal. Sambal is made from ground chilies, shallots, and garlic, and it can be added to any dish for an extra kick.
Sambal belacan is a popular condiment made with shrimp paste, belacan (dried shrimp), and chili peppers. Belacan has a unique taste that can be described as smoky, fishy, or even seafood.
Jamaica is no exception. It has been influenced by its neighbors over time, but it has also developed its own unique cuisine that is inspired by all of these other cultures.
Jamaican food is known for being spicy, but it also blends sweet flavors with savory spices to create meals that are complex and addictive.
Jamaican cuisine also includes many other spicy dishes such as ackee and saltfish, which are made from boiled ackee fruit mixed with salted codfish (salted codfish is also known as bacalhau).
Ackee is another dish that has become famous throughout the world thanks to its delicious taste and unique appearance.
Korean cuisine incorporates elements of Chinese cooking and Japanese cooking, as well as local traditions and ingredients. It is also known for its emphasis on fresh, minimally processed foods and its many spicy dishes.
Koreans eat some of the hottest foods in the world. One example is kimchi, which is fermented cabbage with spicy red pepper powder mixed in. Another one is fish cakes called odeng, which are made from ground fish paste and fried together with egg batter and garlic chives.
Mexico is the land of spicy food. The country’s cuisine is made up of a wide variety of ingredients, including chiles and spices like cumin, cloves, and cinnamon.
In fact, Mexico is responsible for creating one of the spiciest foods in the world: chipotle chiles. These smoked jalapeno peppers are often used to add a kick to Mexican dishes.
Not only is Mexican food one of the most popular cuisines around the world, it’s also one of the spiciest. A complex blend of chilies, herbs, spices, and more makes Mexican dishes some of the hottest in existence.
Mexican food has become so popular that there are now thousands of restaurants serving everything from tacos to burritos all over the world.
India is a land of spices and chilies, and its food reflects that. For example, in India, a popular dish is chana masala — chickpeas cooked in spicy tomato gravy.
The spice used most often in Indian food is black pepper, but there are many other spices that are used as well. You’ll find a variety of curry powders, ginger root, and chile peppers. If you love spicy food, India should be on your list of places to visit.
Food in China is rich, varied, and delicious. It’s also spicy. In fact, if you’re not a fan of heat, you might want to skip this country altogether.
As one of the world’s oldest and most diverse cultures, it should come as no surprise that China has a wide range of spicy food. The cuisine is known for its use of chili peppers, garlic, ginger, and peppercorns.
Ethiopia is one of the spiciest countries in the world. Ethiopian cuisine is known for its use of berbere, a spice mixture whose recipe is a closely guarded secret. Most people use it as a table condiment, but it’s also used in marinades and stews.
The food of Ethiopia is heavily influenced by religion, geography, history, and culture. The country has been home to many different ethnic groups throughout its history. Each group brought its own unique culinary culture to the country.
9. Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka has some of the spiciest food in Asia. It’s an island nation with a tropical climate, so there are plenty of spices available. Most Sri Lankan curries are made with chilies or curry powder.
Spicy food is so ingrained in Sri Lankan culture that it’s impossible to not eat it. The island nation is known for its red curry, a blend of red chilies, coconut milk, and spices that are served with most meals.
In fact, when I visited Sri Lanka last year with my family, our guide took us to a restaurant where he ordered an entire table full of curries, each one spicier than the next.
Bhutan is the only country in the world that measures its Gross National Happiness instead of its Gross National Product. It’s a place where people are more concerned with enjoying their lives than making money and it shows in their food.
Bhutanese cuisine is based on meat, rice, buckwheat, and dairy products, with a few vegetables thrown in for good measure.
Bhutan’s national dish is ema datshi, a spicy cheese sauce. Bhutanese cuisine is influenced by Tibetan and Nepalese cuisine and uses a lot of chili peppers, ginger, and garlic.
Tunisia is a country that is known for its spicy foods. Some of the most popular dishes include couscous and merguez. The dish that is most representative of Tunisia’s cuisine is called Brik.
It is a very thin flour tortilla that is filled with various types of meat, vegetables, cheese, and spices.
Tunisia, like many countries in the Mediterranean, has spicy cuisine. The Tunisians are known for their use of fresh herbs and spices. The main ingredient in their dishes is olive oil. Spices used include cumin, coriander, and paprika.
Nigerian food is very spicy and hot. Most Nigerian meals are made up of rice or beans with meat or fish. The spices used in Nigerian cooking are very strong and hot, which makes their food very spicy and tasty. Some of the main spices used in Nigerian cooking include ginger, garlic, onion, pepper, etc.
The most popular Nigerian dish is Jollof Rice which is made up of rice cooked in tomato stew flavored with spices like curry powder, oil, etc.
Another popular Nigerian dish is Moinmoin which is made up of fried bean paste mixed with palm oil and other spices like ginger or garlic paste etc.
This is probably the most surprising entry on this list. Tibet is a landlocked nation, thousands of miles from any sea, and so its cuisine is not particularly spicy.
But Tibetan food has a reputation for being very hot, partly because it tends to include lots of red chilies in soup or stew dishes like momos.
14. South Africa
While South Africa has a diverse range of ethnic groups and foods, one thing is certain: It loves its chili peppers.
The most popular variety is called paprika (pronounced pah-PRY-kah). Paprika is made from grinding dried red chili peppers with seeds and other spices like garlic, onion, and black pepper.
The result is a spice that can be used in everything from sauces to stews to grilled meats.
If you love spicy food, then you will surely find one (or more) of these cultures to be a paradise. But if you don’t like spicy food, then you might want to avoid these places.
After all, some cultures have been dealing with spicy meals for thousands of years, and sometimes it can become way too much for the faint of heart. But what do you think? Which culture here will be your next destination to get spicy?