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THE DEVIL'S DINNER: A Gastronomic and Cultural History of Chili Peppers
by Stuart Walton


In the tradition of Cod and Salt, The Devil’s Dinner looks at the history of hot peppers, their culinary uses through the ages, and the significance of spicy food in an increasingly homogeneous world.

THE DEVIL’S DINNER is the first authoritative history of chili peppers. There are countless books on cooking with chilies, but no book goes into depth about the biological, gastronomical, and cultural impact this forbidden fruit has had upon people all over the world. The story has been too hot to handle.

A billion dollar industry, hot peppers seem to be more popular than ever. Hot peppers started out in Mexico and South America, came to Europe with returning Spanish travelers, lit up Iberian cuisine with piri-piri and pimientos, continued along eastern trade routes, boosted mustard and pepper in cuisines of the Indian subcontinent, then took overland routes to central Europe in the paprika of Hungarian and Austrian dumplings, devilled this and devilled that… they’ve been everywhere!

The Devil’s Dinner tells the history of hot peppers and captures the rise of the superhot movement.

STUART WALTON is a cultural critic and historian who has written about drink and drug cultures since the early 1990s. He is the author of In The Realm of the Senses: A Materialist Theory of Seeing and Feeling, A Natural History of Human Emotions and Out of It: A Human History of Intoxication as well as a number of consumer guides to wine, spirits and liqueurs, and cocktails. He lives in Torquay, southwest England.

Author's Previous publications:

Out Of It: A Cultural History of Intoxication (Hamish Hamilton, Ltd in the UK, 2001, Crown in the US in 2002)

Published in Spanish as Colocados: Una Historia Cultural de la Intoxicacion (Alba Editorial, 2003)

Published in Italian as Fuori di Testa: Storia Culturale delle Alterazioni dall'Assenzio all'Ecstasy (Mondadori, 2008)

Published in Polish as Odlot: Kulturowa Historia Odurzenia (Aletheia, 2017)

A Natural History of Human Emotions (Atlantic Books in the UK and Grove Press in the US, 2004)

Published in Spanish as Humanidad: Una Historia de las Emociones (Taurus, 2005)

Published in Portuguese as Uma Historia das Emocoes (Record, Brazil, 2006)

Published in Simplified Chinese (Shanghai Popular Science Press, 2007, now relicensed to Bowen Jingdu Cultural Development Co, 2019)

Published in Korean (Minumsa, 2011)

The Complete Guide to Cocktails and Drinks (Lorenz Books in the UK, 2003)

Published in Dutch as Cocktails: De Heerlijkste Drankjes met Gedistilleerd, Likeur, Wijn, Bier en Frisdrank (Veltman Uitgevers, 2012)