Why Do (Some) Humans Love Chili Peppers?

Gideon Lasco in Sapiens:

In fact, all of the world’s chili peppers—including the labuyo peppers that we typically use in the Philippines—likely came from the first domesticated chili plants (Capsicum annuum) in what is now Mexico. They were imported as part of the Columbian exchange, which saw the two-way transfer of ideas, animals, plants, diseases, and people between the Eastern Hemisphere and the Americas following Christopher Colombus’ first transatlantic voyage in the late 15th century.

Unthinkable as it may sound today, the cuisines we have come to associate with spiciness—Indian, Thai, Korean, and Chinese, among others—had no chili peppers at all before their introduction in the 16th century onward. Prior to that, those cuisines relied on other spices or aromatics to add heat to dishes, such as ginger, likely native to southern China, or black pepper, native to India.

How did chili peppers become part of the human diet beginning in the Americas an estimated 6,000 to 10,000 years ago? And why were they eventually embraced by the rest of the world?

More here.