The cuisine of Szechwan and Hunan comes from the heartland of China. This region has moist, mild climate which encourages growth of the red peppers essential to all Szechwan cooking. These peppers are believed to have theraputic value much like the use of Scotch whiskey in warding off the "vapors".
The hot peppers stimulate the palate, thereby allowing it to accommadate and enjoy still further a greater number of flavors at one time. After the "hot" taste has passed, there comes a certain mellowness followed by the manifold flavor characteristics of Szechwan for your dining pleasure.