Capsaicin's positive effects are modest. But they are real. All of this is to say, the obsession with chili pepper heat may be a fad. Or a form of masochism. But it may also reflect -- for once -- popular taste and nutrition in a happy alliance.
As the chef at a restaurant that prides itself in sustainable seafood, artisan meats, and even game, I often find myself questioning the overuse of animal products. Too often, chefs use ingredients like bacon or meat stocks as crutches.