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13th Oct 2023

Curry map shows which regions can handle their spice

Yorkshire is the korma capital, while Londoners eat vindaloo by the bucketload

Yorkshire folk are the biggest softies in Britain – when it comes to handling spicy food, according to a study.

Just 56 per cent of those from God’s Own Country claim to be able to tolerate heat – the lowest percentage in the UK – with 15 per cent never going hotter than a masala.

Meanwhile, London emerged as the spice capital of the UK with 79 per cent enjoying the hotter varieties, followed by the West Midlands and Scotland.

The survey of 2,000 adults found Northern Ireland, the East of England, and the East Midlands are also among the least tolerant of hot foods.

But 32 per cent of all adults polled love spice so much, they add it to more traditional dishes such as spaghetti Bolognese or lasagne.

The research, which also found 38 per cent are eating out less often, was commissioned by Dolmio.

The sauce brand has partnered with Wes Nelson to launch a culinary experience for spicy food fans called ‘Brunch with a Punch’.

The Love Island star said: “When it comes to food, I’m all about dishes with heat – extra hot curries, chillies in my spag bol. You name it, I’ll eat it.

“So, I’m buzzing to be part of a brunch that’s all about the bolder flavours. I look forward to bringing the heat with my set too.”

The study also revealed a quarter of adults often experiment with adding spices to their homemade dishes.

With 54 per cent enjoying the sensation of heat and spice while eating.

Drinking water (40 per cent), milk (16 per cent) and eating a yogurt (14 per cent) are the most favoured methods used to help cool down a hot burning mouth.

It also found 25 per cent are now more experimental when it comes to their spice tastes.

But 39 per cent said while they enjoy it, they do have to take regular breaks if the food is very spicy.

Almost two thirds believe people’s preferences for spicy food is influenced by where they live or are from.

And of those who took part in the study carried out via OnePoll, 30 per cent have been in a relationship with someone who had the opposite spice tolerance to them.

Sian Gavin, spokesperson for Mars Food, makers of Dolmio, which has launched a new range of ‘Intensify’ pasta sauces, said: “The nation’s love for hotter foods is a testament to its appetite for adventure and flavour.

“And this dining experience will not disappoint.

“There’s much fun to be had with Dolmio’s Intensify range and we’re excited to inspire people with bold dishes that they can recreate at home – whether that’s brunch or beyond.”

‘Brunch with a Punch’ takes place at Barrio, Covent Garden on Sunday October 22 and at Menagerie, Manchester on Sunday October 29.

Curry map of Britain

Percentage of regional population who claim they can handle spicy food

1.           London – 79 per cent

2.           West Midlands – 72 per cent

3.           Scotland – 70 per cent

4.           North East – 68 per cent

5.           South East – 67 per cent

6.           Wales – 66 per cent

7.           South West – 66 per cent

8.           North West – 63 per cent

9.           East Midlands – 60 per cent

10.         East of England – 57 per cent

11.         Northern Ireland – 56 per cent

12.         Yorkshire and the Humber – 56 per cent

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