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Chili pepper

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**History and Distribution**:
– Capsicum plants originated in Peru and Bolivia around 7,500 BC.
– Cultivation began in east-central Mexico 6,000 years ago.
– Chili peppers were introduced to Europe by the Spanish in the late 15th century.
– Spread to Italy, Germany, Africa, Asia, and the Pacific Islands through trade.
– Chili peppers are a common ingredient in 21st-century Asian cuisine.

**Production and Cultivars**:
– In 2020, 36 million tons of green chilies and peppers were produced globally.
– China produced 46% of the total global production.
– Other top producers include Mexico, Indonesia, Turkey, and Spain.
– There are five domesticated species of chili peppers with various cultivars.
– Capsicum annuum, Capsicum frutescens, Capsicum chinense, Capsicum pubescens, and Capsicum baccatum.

**Uses and Benefits**:
– Culinary uses include drying, grinding, preserving, and incorporating chili peppers in various dishes.
– Ornamental varieties like Black pearl, Black Hungarian, and Bishops crown peppers.
– Capsaicin from chili peppers is used in pain relief ointments and may have health benefits.
– Chili peppers are rich in vitamin C, vitamin B6, and dietary fiber.
– Consumption can be linked to lower risks of certain diseases.

**Safety, Usage, and Ecology**:
– Handling precautions due to skin irritation risks and potential digestive issues.
– Capsaicin used in pepper sprays and as a crop defense against elephants.
– Nutritional value includes high water content, carbohydrates, protein, and vitamins.
– Different spellings like chili, chile, and chilli used globally.
– Chili peppers have ecological impacts, deterring seed predators and elephants.

**Miscellaneous Aspects**:
– Historical aspects like the introduction of chili peppers to Europe and their global impact.
– Record-breaking chili pepper varieties like Carolina Reaper, Pepper X, and Trinidad Moruga Scorpion.
– Culinary and cultural significance worldwide, with diverse uses in cuisines.
– Organizations promoting chili peppers and unique products like Peppersoup and Sweet chili sauce.
– References to resources on chili peppers’ cultivation, diversity, and uses.

Chili pepper (Wikipedia)

Chili peppers, also spelled chile or chilli (from Classical Nahuatl chīlli [ˈt͡ʃiːlːi] ), are varieties of the berry-fruit of plants from the genus Capsicum, which are members of the nightshade family Solanaceae, cultivated for their pungency. Chili peppers are widely used in many cuisines as a spice to add "heat" to dishes. Capsaicin and related compounds known as capsaicinoids are the substances that give chili peppers their intensity when ingested or applied topically. Chili peppers exhibit a wide range of heat and flavors. This diversity is the reason behind the availability of different types of paprika and chili powder, each offering its own distinctive taste and heat level.

Chili pepper
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Solanales
Family: Solanaceae
Tribe: Capsiceae
Genus: Capsicum
Varieties and Groups
  • Capsicum buforum Salisb.
Young chili plants

Chili peppers are believed to have originated somewhere in Central or South America and were first cultivated in Mexico. European explorers brought chili peppers back to the Old World in the late 16th century as part of the Columbian Exchange, which led to many cultivars of chili pepper spreading around the world and finding use in both food and traditional medicine. This led to a wide variety of cultivars, including the annuum species, with its glabriusculum variety and New Mexico cultivar group, and the species of baccatum, chinense, frutescens, and pubescens.

Cultivars grown in North America and Europe are believed to all derive from Capsicum annuum and have white, yellow, red, or purple to black fruits. In 2019, the world's production of raw green chili peppers amounted to 38 million tons, with China producing half.

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