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DENVER NICKS| AUTHOR & REGULAR TIME WRITER
HOT SAUCE NATION: America's Burning Obsession
Hot sauce is a narrative arc in a way. It builds, it peaks and falls.
November 2016 Issue | Vol. 4, No. 21                                                                                           Hot sauce is a ride.

















 
 
 
 

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Denver Nicks | Hot Sauce Nation: America's Burning Obsession Love, loss, drugs, pain, memory, hot sauce. One day, the connection all came together for author and regular contributor to Time, Denver Nicks. Nicks had been toying with the idea of writing a book about hot sauce. He had done some digging into the history of hot sauce and the chile pepper’s physical effects. He endured the painful sear of the mega-Scoville Heat Unit (SHU) sauces. And he had accumulated the usual collection of bottles of hot sauces with the requisite words like death, kick-ass, and ghost pepper on the label. Nicks had a bunch of pieces, but not the puzzle. When he heard the story of a couple—Lyle and Helen—that fell in love over hot sauce, a book was born. It happened during a ride with a Lyft rideshare driver to Los Angeles Airport. When the Lyft driver, Lyle, found out about Nicks’ hot sauce project, he shared his story. Lyle and Helen, basically, fell in love while eating hot food. They ate it together, cooked it together, and shared it with everyone they knew. They became known as, “that couple, the hot sauce fanatics” who used to tell everyone that, “hugging, laughing, and chiles are good for you”.