Food & Drinks

Kitchen Superstition: the Mysterious Uses of Chili Pepper

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Kitchen Superstition: the Mysterious Uses of Chili Pepper
Photo Su-Lin/Flickr

Chili peppers add a nice kick to recipes but did you know they are the object of superstitions? Certain cultures around the world attribute supernatural properties to chilies and use them as amulets. Interesting, no?

Let's take a look at two popular superstitions regarding chili peppers: 

Indian Superstition: Uses for Chili Pepper

Every Saturday morning, Indian Hindu families perform a ritual thought to bring them luck: they take 7 green chilies and a lemon and string them all together to form a kind of pendant.

This little vegetable ornament is then hung in a safe part of the house, usually under the table, and is left there until the following Saturday, when it is burnt and substituted with a new one.

Hindus believe that this device drives bad spirits out of the house. This special string of chilies and lemon is also hung in front of businesses for good luck.

Italian Superstition: Other Uses for Chili Pepper

Chili peppers are considered the ‘demon’s spice’ in southern Italy. However, some locals use it for personal protection, or to protect your car or your house from the evil eye and gossipers.

Just hang a fresh string of chilies in the house, at the door or on the balcony, or perhaps carry a plastic ‘horn’, which looks like a chili, in your pocket as a lucky charm. Tradition dictates the chilies should be fresh, not dry, to ensure good fortune.

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