Chili Peppers

March 29, 2008

Since we are in Mexico, I thought it only proper that I dedicate at least one blog post to the venerable chili pepper. Here in Mexico you often hear the refrain "si no pica, no es comida," which roughly translates to "if it's not spicy, it's not food." Suffice it to say that folks here absolutely love their peppers! Chilis are considered "traditional" ingredients in Chinese, Thai, Indian, Korean, and many European cuisines, but in reality all forms of chili peppers originated in this part of the world. Columbus brought them back to Spain five centuries ago, from there they were the disseminated throughout the world and integrated into local tastes.

Today there are literally hundreds of types of chilis grown in a vast array of size, shapes, colors, flavors and levels of spiciness. The Chili Pepper Institute provides some fascinating facts and trivia if you want to learn more. You may also want to check out the Hot Sauce Blog and the PepperFool.

We visited an herb and spice shop called La Abejita (the little bee) in the small town of Buceries, which stocks a rich mosaic of dried chilis. Here's a short slide show of some of their selection:



Greg Bulmash's picture

I never knew that all the world's chili peppers originated from the Americas. That's a really interesting fact.

Seeing how potatoes, corn, coffee, chocolate, chiles, and tomatoes all came from the Americas, it's amazing how much plants from our continent have influenced world cuisine over the last 500 years, with cultivars of our indigenous plants becoming traditional parts of so many cuisines.

Dreama's picture

What gorgeous can almost smell the chili peppers!