We know what you’re thinking: Wouldn’t the spiciest foods simply be various peppers? Of course. But unless you’re entering some sort of contest or looking for a way to go on a trippy spiritual journey, eating straight-up peppers is not advised. Not only will they instantly liquefy your soul, but they don’t make for a very hearty or balanced meal.
The 11 foods on this list, however, are not only incredibly spicy, but are quite popular as well. They range from soups and stews to meats and vegetable platters, and span numerous countries and continents, yet can still be found at ethnic restaurants in America and can even be made at home.
The next time you’re looking for something spicy, skip the obligatory chicken wings (don’t worry, you can always get those next time), and brave one of these foods instead. Or, if you can’t stand the heat, consider this a list of dishes to avoid.
But where’s the fun and gastrointestinal discomfort in that? Click on to discover the world’s spiciest foods!
Matt Sulem contributed to this story.