This week I am doing a series of three blog posts about one of the most widely dispersed spices of the world: the chili pepper, hot pepper, or chile (as we call it in Spanish in many countries of Latin America), to mention just a few of the common names of this spice.
The chilies have been an important part in the life of many cultures. The chilies are original from the Americas, the archaeological research led by Linda Perry, of the Smithsonian Institute reveals that harvesting of chilies began approximately 8,000 years ago. People have been cultivating and trading them for over 6,000 years. Yes, 6,000 years!!!
This spice traveled from the New World to the Old World between 1498 and 1549, and was spread eastwards over the silk route in about 50-year period. At that point, the chili was known as far away from the New World as Japan.