Brian Dott’s Love Letter to ‘The Chile Pepper in China.’

Program Description

A Zoom talk and open discussion by Brian Dott about his book, The Chile Pepper in China: A Cultural Biography, moderated by CHNY Programming Co-Chair Charity Robey.

The chile pepper did not arrive in China until the 1570s, and yet much of Chinese cuisine is laced with the fiery heat of colorful and nutritious capsicums. Indigenous to the Americas, chiles are so much a part of Chinese culture that many Chinese assume that they are native plants and part of Chinese identity–indeed, Mao Zedong quipped that, “You can’t be a revolutionary if you don’t eat chilies.” In a conversation moderated by Charity Robey, Brian Dott described more than 400 years of Chinese chile history; how the plant went from foreign and suspect, to an integral part of traditional Chinese medicine, garden aesthetics, cuisine and language, even changing the meaning of spicy (la).

As a special treat, CHNY member and drinks expert Kara Newman created a chili-infused cocktail for our virtual reception.

00:00:00 Opening and Welcome by Christine Dzujna.
00:02:00 Cocktail Recipe and Demonstration with Kara Newman.
00:06:09 Introduction from Charity Robey.
00:08:34 Brian Dott’s Presentation
00:49:09 Questions and Answers
01:03:48 Wrap Up and Goodbye!