Some like it hot in Zurich

Chilis are all the rage at The Big Chili. The Big Chili

Marc Hälg's shop, The Big Chili, contains more than 100 types of chili sauce. His store has for the past five years provided Zurich's large Latino and American communities with the ingredients needed to make their national dishes.

This content was published on July 24, 2000 - 11:49

Tucked away in a quiet residential area in central Zurich, The Big Chili offers not only chili sauces but a whole array of chili products and specialities such as chili chewing gum and chili flavoured biscuits.

"Our customers love the hottest possible sauces," said The Big Chili's April Jones. "The reason is because of the rush you get - it's just this amazing feeling - like after playing a lot of sport. And it's a lot safer than drugs."

Jones says chilis are also excellent for treating a whole range of ailments. "According to Native American folklore, chilis could be used to help with headaches, stomach upsets and rheumatism," said Jones.

With hundreds of different types of chili on offer, The Big Chili stocks at least 20 different fresh varieties imported from the United States and Mexico. During the summer store owner Hälg also grows around 1,000 chili plants here in Switzerland.

"If you have a warm enough summer the plants grow really well, and you can keep them in your garden or on a balcony," explained Jones.

The Big Chili may be a small store, but it certainly packs a punch on the specialist retailing scene in Zurich. And it's now expanding into cyberspace with the launch of its own Internet site to attract orders from across Europe.

by Tom O'Brien

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