Recently, there has been a study on oral pungency, aka. how spicy or “sharp tasting” people like their food. Before this study, it was barely known whether genetics had anything to do with it.
Over 100 Finnish twin pairs aged 21-25 were given two types of strawberry jelly: one with and one without capsaicin. The pleasantness and intensity of the jelly was rated. Additionally, they were given a questionnaire to rate the appeal of spicy food. The test subjects were grouped as non-likers, medium-likers, and likers.
The results? Yes, whether you like spicy kimchi or not is influenced by genetics along with the environment.
Future research would be needed since, believe it or not, this is the first work anyone has ever done on why some people have different preferences and attitudes to spicy foods.
My thoughts: This study can totally be turned into an awesome sci-fi movie where the food company genetically modifies people to eat their food only and takes over the whole world! OR food companies modify their products to make it appealing to certain genes. In other words, the manipulation of people by using genetic effects on oral pungency. Scary.