WATCH: Spicy Girls, Spicy Food: Chengdu, China’s hot-tempered women


In Chengdu, the capital of China’s Sechuan province, say women are hot-tempered and dominant.

Why is that?  Locals — both men and women — say it’s because of the spicy food they eat — predominantly hot pot. This constant eating of spicy food, plus a culture that many in the city say is “female dominant” has made women into what locals call “spicy girls” — translated from the Chinese expression “la mei.” That literally means spicy and beautiful.

Hot pot, or huo guo in Chinese, is famous worldwide as Chengdu’s signature dish. It’s essentially a large, boiling pot with ultra-spicy broth set right in the middle of the table, and shared by several people. All kinds of ingredients go into it — everything from chicken to beef to pork to mushrooms.

When we went to China, we found the most authentic place we could find (show in part 2), in which we ate hotpot with goose throat and pig’s brain, plus the less-exotic ingredients such as pork, beef and mushrooms.

When asked why Chengdu women are said to have such hot tempers, one Chengdu woman, in her early 30s, tells Borderless News Online: “They eat a lot of spicy food. And they want to control the life by themselves. And control all the things by themselves,” she says, agreeing, when asked, that this is part of Chengdu culture.

“We just want to be the queen of our self and be the queen of the life,” she says.

Another Chengdu native, a man in his mid-30s, says the city has a “female dominant culture.”

Over the course of a couple of days, all the women we interviewed in Chengdu had one thing in common — they love spicy food, especially hot pot.

Is there really a connection between hot tempered women and spicy food? Check out the video above to find out.


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