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Chili pepper

fruit of plants from the genus Capsicum, members of the nightshade family, Solanaceae
A basket of Chile peppers

Chili pepper (not to be confused with the country called Chile) is the fruit of a series of plants called Capsicum (nightshade family). Chilis are now grown all over the world, but originally, they came from Mexico. They are used as spices or as vegetables, and also have some use in medicine.

Chile peppers are completely unrelated to the Piperaceae genus, which Black pepper is from.

HistoryEdit

 
Pottery that tested positive for Capsicum sp. residues excavated at Chiapa de Corzo in southern Mexico dated from Middle to Late Preclassic periods (400 BCE to 300 CE)

Chili peppers have been a part of the human diet in the Americas since at least 7500 BCE. Chili peppers were domesticated over 6000 years ago in Mexico.[1] Since then, chili peppers could be farmed throughout all of Mexico, Central America, and parts of South America.[2]

SpellingEdit

The word "chili" is spelled differently in different countries. They can be spelled as chili, chilli, and chile.

  • Chili is widely used in the United States[3] and Canada.[4]
  • Chilli is widely used in other English-speaking countries.[5][6]
  • Chile is the most common Spanish spelling in Mexico and several other Latin American countries.[7]

ReferencesEdit

  1. "Birthplace of the domesticated chili pepper identified in Mexico" Eurekalert April 21, 2014
  2. Bosland, P.W. (1998). "Capsicums: Innovative uses of an ancient crop". In J. Janick. Progress in new crops. Arlington, VA: ASHS Press. pp. 479–487. Retrieved 23 December 2010.
  3. "chili" from Merriam-Webster; other spellings are listed as variants, with "Chili" identified as "chiefly British"
  4. The Canadian Oxford Dictionary lists chili as the main entry, and labels chile as a variant, and chilli as a British variant.
  5. "Fall in exports crushes chilli prices in Guntur". Thehindubusinessline.com. Retrieved 21 April 2012.
  6. "Chilli, Capsicum and Pepper are spicy plants grown for the pod. Green chilli is a culinary requirement in any Sri Lankan household". Sundaytimes.lk. Retrieved 21 April 2012.
  7. Heiser, Charles (August 1990). Seed To Civilization: The Story of Food. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. ISBN 0-674-79681-0.