About

Himalaya Hot is a family run business dedicated to spreading a love for the chiles and hot, spicy foods of Bhutan, Nepal, Tibet, India and the Himalaya Mountains. We are among the first to legally import and grow many native varieties of Bhutanese chiles in the USA.

Our Story
Bhutanese chiles drying outside our relatives' home in Thimphu, Bhutan
Bhutanese chiles drying outside our relatives' home in Thimphu
The story of Himalaya Hot is really a love story. Our owner, John, began traveling the world with his parents as a little boy. As a teen, he developed a love for the people of Asia—and he also developed a fascination with their spicy foods. As he traveled to Asia again and again, he started learning to prepare those foods himself. On one of his trips, by Providence, he met a beautiful young woman named Unisha who was from the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan. The two fell in love and got married.

John soon found out that one of the staple foods of Bhutan is chile peppers. For them, chiles are not just a spice added to food—they are the food. As always, John set out to learn about the chiles and spicy foods of his bride's home country. He soon discovered that hardly any information was available, especially in the English language. John determined to change that. Over the last several years, he has been researching by documenting chiles in Bhutan, interviewing Bhutanese people, and studying the limited body of information that currently exists. John was also among the first to legally import and grow many native varieties of Bhutanese chiles in the USA. John is currently writing a book called Himalaya Hot, which will be the first book of its kind documenting Bhutan's chiles.

John and Unisha's love of spicy food initially was just their way of life at home. But now it has developed into much more as they cook and serve large groups of people spicy food, make unique new sauces and dried spaces, write on the subject both in print and online media, and grow over 40 different chile varieties from around the world.

Himalayan Chile Guardians
While we have an appreciation for all spicy foods, at Himalaya Hot we are primarily concerned with chiles and spicy foods of Bhutan and the Himalayan region. We exist to spread a love for them—but we also view ourselves as guardians.

The chile business is one of the top 10 fastest growing industries in the USA, and we are very excited to be part of it. But we also have witnessed an unfortunate trend in the chile industry to exploit any "new" strain of chile for monetary purposes only. We believe that the chiles of Bhutan and the Himalayan region are some of the best in the world, a treasure mostly undiscovered, and we want to protect them from cheap exploitation and premature release by people who care nothing for Bhutan and other Himalayan nations. There are people who are selling seeds that are not authentic or are incorrectly labeled. Most of these individuals have never been to Bhutan, nor are they certain what variety they have—or if the varieties are even from the Himalayas/Bhutan at all. In contrast, we have legally imported our seeds from Bhutan from chiles we have selected ourselves. We have walked in the Bhutanese chile farms ourselves. We care about pure strains of chiles and accurate labels. We care about Bhutanese people, traditions, and culture. We have done more thorough research since we speak multiple languages and have been able to communicate with individuals that speak Dzongkha, Nepali, Hindi, etc. We are also working with individuals in Bhutan's Ministry of Agriculture to obtain accurate scientific information. As the chiles become known in the USA and Western nations, we hope to be a source of pure strains, not only sharing the chiles and seeds, but also sharing their rich heritage and history. At Himalaya Hot, we intend to be the best and most thorough source of information about Bhutanese chiles and spicy foods.

(Please beware of those who claim to sell seeds from "the" Bhutanese chile, failing to recognize that there are many native varieties in Bhutan, not just one.)