Why Is European Food Not Spicy?

Why Is European Food Not Spicy?
Why Is European Food Not Spicy?

European food has less spices than Asian food

Why Is European Food Not Spicy?

People in Europe usually prefer their foods low in spice. This is because Europeans value simplicity above all else. The idea of “the simple life” is very popular among people from European countries.

Many Europeans regard the traditional English cooking style as inspiring. However, most English cooks rely more on salt and pepper to season their meals. Wine is also often added.

As we know, Spain leads the world in adding heat with spices. And there are several reasons for this. For one, spicing plays an important role in Spanish cuisine. There are hundreds of different spices that can be used in cooking.

For instance, cumin is common in Mexican and Middle Eastern cookery. Cinnamon is prominent in northern European culture and Persian cuisine. Zataria is known throughout Italy, as well as in many parts of Central Asia.

Indeed, any dish whose origins lie in Persia (as does tomato rice) will have at least some zation. Similarly, Ethiopian cuisine is very spicy.

Some spices are native to certain regions. Native Americans use various powders made from berries or plants to supplement their diet. Africans use garlic and peppers like chile de arbol or bell peppers to add spice to meals.

Garlic is widely consumed in African cultures. In fact, it is considered a health booster due to its properties. Garlic contains compounds called alliin and allicin which become active when raw but are destroyed by heating.

Europeans eat more spices at breakfast


In Europe, coffee is usually taken very early in the morning- often before work or school. Because it is hot, people prefer spice less foods.

Most breads and cereals are seasoned with herbs and spices such as pepper, salt, and paprika. Roasted vegetables (okra, potatoes, summer squash) are also served along with yogurt and black olives to balance out the heat from the peppers and chili powder.

During breakfast, eggs are almost always accompanied by something spicy such as salsa, sliced egg cheese, or fresh chilies. Cereal can be flavored with jam or honey to taste.

Sometimes watermelon is seen during breakfast, particularly in southern Spain and France. This tasty fruit comes in large chunks and needs little preparation. Sometimes nuts and/or seeds are added to the dish for extra flavor.

Biscuits, cookies, and other baked goods are frequently eaten at any time of day, especially among families. Butter goes nicely with nut butter, which has a rich texture and different flavor profile. Bread products themselves (sandwich, bruschetta, pizza) are sometimes not too spicy for children and others. Pizzas may have tomato sauce and lettuce instead of spicier ingredients.

Europeans eat less spices at lunch

Why is European food not spicy?

It’s common to spice up your food during dinner, but in Europe this is not usually done at lunch. Most people start their day with something simple and sweet, like coffee or tea or fruit. Then they move onto the next meal—which is typically soup or pasta.

This pattern continues all through the afternoon and early evening. As digestion does its work, you will gradually develop a taste for these slightly spicy foods. By the late morning, most people have eaten two meals.

Between breakfast and lunch, we often have eggs, bread and meat. For many, the best time of day to experience different flavors is in the mid-morning.

However, eating before breakfast can be easier if you are working and want to stay awake. Eating small meals early in the day can help keep your hunger level lower.

Europeans cook spices in fat

Why is European food not spicy?

Many non-European foods feature generous amounts of spice because the cooks there use more oil when cooking. In Italy, for example, people love their food with hot pepper flakes, while Hungary’s paprika is spicy (if you ask us).

Fewer calories leads to less consumption of other ingredients like sugar or salt, so less concentrated flavors make sense.

The average American recipe calls for twice as much butter as an Italian one, though. And fried dishes are even worse – we get two times as many egg yolks per serving in Americans than Italians.

Combine lower calorie/concentrated ingredient percentages with higher calorie but more complex ingredients, and it makes sense that European recipes contain fewer additives and better sourcing practices.

Spices contain a lot of health benefits

Why is European food not spicy?

Several studies have shown that spices can reduce pain, help fight cancer, improve heart function, enhance the taste of food, and more. Although most people associate spicy foods with health benefits, it is important to note that these claims are not fully proven.

However, there are many reasons why spices might be beneficial. For one, capsaicin — an ingredient in peppers — has been found to kill excess fat cells and prevent weight gain.

Curcumin—a spice found in curry plants — may suppress tumor growth and aid in digestion. Cinnamon has antioxidants and flavonoids that may protect against diabetes and liver disease.

Several vegetables contribute components to spices that benefit health. For example, turmeric contains curcumin, which may lower inflammation throughout the body.

Spices are expensive

Why is European food not spicy?

Many people in Europe enjoy spicy foods but don’t want to spend hours adding individual spices to their food or purchasing several spice mixes. Instead, they often use herbs and spices as a cheaper alternative to using ingredients that cost more.

However, many of these herbal spices contain roots or seeds and some have bits of plants within them. These bits can cause your food to taste different, sometimes causing unneeded inflammation.

Herbs is what we call all parts of a plant not classified as flowers, fruits, leaves, stems or vegetables. For example, you would ask for “herbs” instead of going straight for basil alone, you might also get parsley, rosemary or sage.

These ‘non-flavors’ may help prevent costly mistakes people make when ordering food. However, with so much variation, it’s hard to find something delicious and unique.

That’s why most chefs end up repeating things they did last year – they’re giving themselves a chance to try new flavors, while still staying within its scope.

A little bit of variety is good, but too much difference can be off-putting. In general, simple dishes do best because they rely solely on flavor profiles and fresh components.

Spices have different flavors

Why is European food not spicy?

Many people do not like spicy foods because they are not used to them. There is a belief that spices should be fresh and uncooked, but this is only true for some spices. For example, turmeric is both a spice and an herb with distinct roots and leaves.

The plant from which turmeric was stripped for its healing properties grows mainly in India. However, it can also grow in hotter parts of Africa and Asia, including our own countries.

Spices such as nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves were only recently discovered by Europeans at the turn of the last century. Because these foods don’t require much preparation, they’re often found in tourist restaurants.

However, most traditional spices take time to develop flavor — so when you eat them, they’re usually more bitter or unpleasant. The health benefits of allspice (known then as pepper) are now well-documented.

Allspice has traditionally been used to treat headaches and toothaches, and recent studies suggest that it may help reduce pain related to various ailments. Though we talk about chocolate peels and cocktails overflowing with spices, the actual amount of each ingredient typically makes for an extremely bland mixture.

Spices have different shapes

Why is European food not spicy?

While most spices are similar to one another, they all have unique shapes. This is important because ingredients that don’t share the same shape as each other can get confused in cooking.

For example, cinnamon and ginger are both spices, but they are so far removed from each other in taste that it takes a lot of practice to recognize them when they aren’t named exactly right.

It also helps if you know what each spice looks like before you buy it. Often times stores will label their spices so you know what they look like.

Spices enhance a dish’s overall taste

Why is European food not spicy?

A wide variety of spices can be used to make food more tasty. By adjusting the amount of each spice you use, you can create a balanced recipe that tastes good to your sense of smell as well as your palate.

These small ingredients are what we call spices. Spice is simply anything with a flavor profile. It can be found in various forms – seeds, stems, berries, leaves, flowers, roots, sticks, powders, bags, pots, jars — anywhere an item has flavor.

Spice originates from plants through their seeds or buds. Many times, these are located on branches near the Earth’age (meaning sun). For example, trees produce nuts containing high-quality oils that were very useful for cooking and cosmetics.

Other types of crops contain similar qualities that have been used for centuries. Some examples are coffee beans, cocoa pods, curry pods, sesame seeds, and dried peppers.

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