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For aficionados of hot, spicy food, the humble chilli inspires near-fanatical devotion. Chillies come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colours - from long and thin to round and berry-like, and from green to fiery orange - and there is a huge variation in the degree of hotness (measured on the Scoville scale). There are some 400 varieties of chillies, ranging in strength from the mild jalape to the blisteringly hot habanero. Chillies are grown all over the world, and are an essential ingredient (fresh or dried) in many world cuisines. Indeed, it would be hard to imagine a curry, mole pobla or fajitas without the hot stuff. The Hot Book of Chillies is an essential companion to enjoying chillies, and covers the history and biology of the plants, how hotness is measured, chillies and health, nutritional and medicinal value and how to preserve and use chillies. A gallery of chillies presents approximately 100 of the most popular chilli varieties, and the book includes a selection of recipes for salsas, hot sauces, jams and chutneys.
David Floyd has focussed an interest in chilli sauces and spicy food into his website, the Chile Foundry (www.chilefoundry.co.uk), which he set up with two friends and which now supplies thousands of people in the UK and Europe with chillies and chilli-related products. He has grown, eaten, cooked and sold a wide range of chillies, created and commissioned chilli products and enjoyed developing people's interest in chillies. His range of chilli products began with a dry spice marinade and now includes the UK's hottest crisps. He has appeared on the BBC's 'Good Food Live' TV programme as a chilli expert. David Floyd is married with two children and lives in Yeovil, Somerset. Consultant Sarah Jane Evans is associate editor of BBC Good Food Magazine, president of the Guild of Food Writers, member of the DTI Foresight Food Chain Panel, a member of the British Cheese Awards Committee and a trustee of the Food Foundation.