One of the main reasons why I like writing about chile peppers is the fact that they are multi-disciplinary, meaning that studying them takes you into other disciplines beyond just botany and horticulture. Chemistry, health properties, culinary arts, and history are some good examples, and so is archaeology. In one particularly interesting circumstance, a volcano belching ash told us a lot about chile pepper use among the ancient Maya. Above, in the background, is the volcano in question, and the Ceren crew from the University of Colorado is in the foreground. In my article, “Out of the Ash,” I tell the story and try to re-create the cuisine of the time. The article is here.