Some like it hot

I love chillies, particularly when they are seriously hot; I’ve written about it before here and here. So it came as a pleasant surprise to me that my father’s day present was this:

Absolutely brilliant stuff. I made myself a sandwich this evening (we usually eat only one “cooked” meal a day, and fend for ourselves the rest of the time). Seeded bloomer, pastrami, some rocket, a dash or three of the habanero paste. Sensational. If you want to find out more, go to the  Chilli Factory or direct to the Turbo Supercharge Habanero Paste.

I call this ” a blog about information”. And yet it would appear that I write about all kinds of things besides information and its enabling technologies: food, music, books, humour, cricket, DRM and IPR, identity, it’s a long list. Why do I do that? Here’s why:

I think information per se is meaningless; to have value it must inform someone about something. So I write about things I am interested in, and look at ways that information about those things is created, how it is enriched and improved, how it flows. How people publish that information, how people subscribe to that information. What tools are available to read that information, to amend or update it, to delete it; to create it in the first place. What visualisation techniques are available. How to make all of this better.

Let’s take chillies for example. Many people know that chillies are hot. A smaller number may know that there is a unit of measure for this hotness, the Scoville Unit. But most people find it hard to really understand what a Scoville unit is.

But what if they had something like this?

You can find the original here. The entire Scoville Food Institute site, The Science of Heat, is worth visiting if, like me, you’re into this kind of stuff.

Great stuff. But it made me wonder. We use heatmaps for visualising all kinds of things…. but not hotness? I’m sure someone out there has created a heatmap for chillies.

We will learn more about information and its tools and techniques and technologies by using the tools, techniques and technologies to publish, and subscribe to, everyday information about everyday things. That is my fervent hope.

7 thoughts on “Some like it hot”

  1. Funny you should post this today. Just yesterday we were having a chilly fest at home and boy was it good. Amongst others, we tried Kanthari, Red Savina and the kicker was some Bhut Jolakia. I always thought I had a tolerance for spice but Damn that Jolakia was hot. Indescribably hot. But so good. Floral. While the Kanthari was fruity even.

  2. I remember reading one of Salman Rushdie’s books (“The Moor’s Last Sigh”, I think), where he claimed that chillies only came to India a couple of hundred years ago via Mexico, where they are native – I looked it up and that seems to check out.

    Amazing that it has become such a major part of the cuisine in such a relatively short time (and before the internet, even)

  3. ‘Blandest thing on the menu…’ anyone remember an episode of GGM taking the heat out of chillies, in ‘Going out for an English’?

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