Book Review: Chasing Chiles

It is not often that ILIS will get an opportunity to be asked to do a book review. So we are delighted to do it, and hope we can do the review as much justice as our usual spicy product reviews. A little about the book, Chasing Chiles: Hot Spots Along the Pepper Trail and it’s Authors’ Kurt Friese, Kraig Kraft, and Gray Nabhan:

Chasing Chiles looks at both the future of place-based foods and the effects of climate change on agriculture through the lens of the chile pepper—from the farmers who cultivate this iconic crop to the cuisines and cultural traditions in which peppers play a huge role.

Chef Kurt Michael Friese is author of A Cook’s Journey: Slow Food in the Heartland (Ice Cube, 2008), and owner and founding chef of Devotay, a restaurant in Iowa City that is a community leader in local and sustainable cuisine. He is owner and publisher of Edible Iowa River Valley magazine, a board of directors member for Slow Food USA and the Iowa Food Systems Council, and a graduate and former chef-instructor at the New England Culinary Institute.

Kraig Kraft is an agroecologist and writer based in Managua, Nicaragua. He completed his PhD on the origins and diversity of wild and domesticated chile peppers at the University of California, Davis. Kraft is the author of a popular blog titled Chasing Chiles, and has written for several regional magazines, including Edible Sacramento, as well as technical journals, and is currently working on a coffee sustainability project in Central America.

Gary Paul Nabhan is an award-winning author, plant conservationist, and sustainable-agriculture advocate. His collaborative work in agricultural conservation has been honored with Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Quivira Coalition and the Society for Conservation Biology, and with the Vavilov Medal. A pioneer in the heirloom seed movement, he raises rare chile peppers and Mission-era orchard crops in Patagonia, Arizona.

The two reviewers we have for this chile book are fellow chile pepper author Michael Hultquist aka Mike from Madness, and the one and only Scott Roberts. I do not think you will find 2 more diverse opinions than in these two reviews. Wow. See what I am talking about…

Mike from Madness

Scott Roberts

Chasing Chiles: Hot Spots Along the Pepper Trail
by Author’s Kurt Friese, Kraig Kraft, and Gray Nabhan
Email: chasingchiles@gmail.com
Facebook: CLICK ME
You can order Chasing Chiles with the convenience of online ordering while still supporting small, local, independent bookstores.
Order now through IndieBooks by clicking the image below:

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12 Comments

  • At June 8, 2011 12:05 am, hudd said:

    Betty just got this in the mail today.

    Reply ]
    • At June 8, 2011 3:52 am, Buddah said:

      Tell her to come back with her opinion when she finishes it off.

      Reply ]
    • At June 8, 2011 10:08 am, Uncle Big said:

      I didn’t know Buddah could read. Who knew? :_dancingdevil:

      Reply ]
      • At June 8, 2011 10:06 pm, Scott Roberts said:

        I didn’t realize my video had so much lag. Sorry, folks.

        Reply ]
        • At June 8, 2011 10:07 pm, Buddah said:

          I noticed no lag, must be at your end.

          Reply ]
        • At June 9, 2011 1:47 am, Jim Duffy said:

          I did glance through this book and found it to be leftist agenda. I do believe in science and do believe that man has an impact on our planet. However one trip through chile growing locations is not going to provide enough data on how a particular plant (chile) is being impacted. Maybe decades but not one trip. If the message was how we should do more organic farming and use less chemicals I would like that. Our Nation spends so much money on regulatory practices and preserving our environment. Yet we get beat over the head that we have to do more. This book should have been printed in Spanish and sent to people in Mexico. Take one trip to Mexico city and see how many people have emphysema. I live close to San Diego/Mexico border. Every year the Tijuana river that Mexico pollutes pumps its sewage into the ocean and it flows right up to our beaches. I don’t see any green people protesting on the Mexican side of the border. I don’t see any Hollywood stars picketing Mexican government buildings in Mexico city. Why because they would get shot thats why! So lets write a Global warming book and flavor it with chiles to disguise our agenda. I have a better idea move to Mexico and help those poor farmers out by making their own corrupt country clean up their air and water. Maybe you can get the Drug Lords down there to help you with a book tour!

          Reply ]
          • At June 9, 2011 1:40 pm, Scott Roberts said:

            I totally agree; what you mentioned is typical of many of the leftist protestors and activists of only going where it’s safe and convenient for them.

            That having been said, I’m just not into talking about politics much any more. I got heavily into it after September 11, 2001 but by the time the 2008 elections ended I was totally burned out. I still maintain my beliefs, I’ll stand firm for them and I still keep up on things, but I’d rather talk about the things that really matter in life – family, God, football and chile peppers. :mrgreen:

            Reply ]
            • At June 9, 2011 2:43 pm, jimduffy said:

              Yep let’s read books about peppers and keep it to peppers. My priorities in order. God, family, chiles, football, chilhead friends, other humans, subhumans, dogs, rainforest. Things this planet can do without bland food, cats, scovie awards, miami heat, baltimore ravens. Thing I want to see in 2011. Johnny on a food show. Thing I don’t want to see in 2011. Buddah crossdressing at nola after one too many foo foo drinks!

              Reply ]
              • At June 9, 2011 7:04 pm, FIREHEAD THOMAS said:

                Now, wait a cotton pickin’ minute here….

                Reply ]
                • At June 9, 2011 8:57 pm, Jim Duffy said:

                  Ooooooooops! I meant Steelers :afro:

                  Reply ]
          • At June 9, 2011 2:29 pm, Mike from Madness said:

            Hey, guys – shout of respect to you both. I should qualify that I came into this as a person who walks pretty firmly in the middle, not very political, and having read a bit about global warming though not extensively. I’m aware of the debates. I also believe, like Jim, the scientific evidence and that man is impacting our planet, though it’s perhaps not so dire as the fear-mongering media reports. Also, yes, the book does certainly lean left, but I’ve found that the case when most people talk global warming, even in science magazines to a degree. “New Scientist” does a pretty good job, though it’s just a weekly with briefs.

            I just wanted to comment so readers can know where the review is coming from. The back cover clearly states its intentions to discuss climate change, so reader be warned. Could it be more scientific? Sure, but I don’t believe that was the intention of the authors. I saw it as more of a discussion or exploration of the topic framed by chile peppers. While I enjoyed the stories and the colorful areas they visited, I can see where this book would not be for everyone.

            Cheers to you, Scott – talking about spicy food and peppers is WAY better than talking about politics! :_toastbeer:

            Reply ]
            • At June 24, 2011 9:01 am, Book Review: Chasing Chiles : Chelsea Green said:

              […] article  below appeared originally online at  I Love It Spicy about Chasing Chiles: Hot Spots Along the Pepper […]

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