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Brian Reinhart Explains to Slate Why Jalapeños Have Lost Their Fire

Our dining critic stars in a new episode of the podcast Decoder Ring.
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Brian doing his best smolder

Here’s one of the things I love about our dining critic, Brian Reinhart: when he notices something curious, he doesn’t just throw up a post on Twitter about it and then go back to watching baseball. Nope, Brian starts digging.

That’s what he did last year when he noticed that jalapeños in grocery stores seemed to have less fire than he remembered. Is that actually the case? And, if so, why have they grown more mild? The result of his curiosity was an article that has, for a year, continued to draw an astounding amount of traffic to our little outpost. The headline and sub: “Here’s Why Jalapeño Peppers Are Less Spicy Than Ever: Throw out those bogus shopping tips about pepper size. Decades of deliberate planning created a less-hot jalapeño.”

Well, the folks at Slate read that article, and they decided to do even more digging. They found the actual inventor of the less-spicy pepper. The result of their efforts is an episode of the podcast Decoder Ring that just dropped. I’ve listened to just a few minutes so far, but this is good stuff. Worth your time:

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Tim Rogers

Tim Rogers

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Tim is the editor of D Magazine, where he has worked since 2001. He won a National Magazine Award in…
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