This heated confession of one man who embraced the chile lifestyle details his obsessive quest for pepper pain. A look into the capsicum subculture and its strange denizens, this book discusses hot sauce phenomena—the endorphin rush that kicks in when the sauce is consumed, the mad desire to produce hotter and hotter sauces, and the trend toward raunchy and politically incorrect hot sauce labels. Explored are the reasons millions of people seek out the pain caused by hot sauce and why the pleasure following that pain has made the pursuit of hot sauce and chile culture so wildly popular. The incredible antics of both manufacturers and fans are examined, and the role of the Internet as a vital meeting place for the hot sauce community is highlighted. Appendixes include a Scoville Heat Scale, a list of the world’s hottest sauces and where to find them, mouth-searing recipes, and a user’s guide to the most exotic hot sauce products.