Creative Women

The chile is a fruit belonging to the Solanaceae family, genus Capsicum, native to the American continent. Today, Mexico is the source of 90% of the original species. 

Archaeological findings show that chile cultivation predated the cultivation of tomatoes and corn. Other varieties, especially some very hot, are native to the islands of the Caribbean Sea and the Antilles, and some more native to South America, Peru and Brazil.
Before the arrival of the Spanish to the continent, there was NO variety of Capsicum in other continents, as is commonly believed. In Asia and Africa, there were very strong spices, but none contained capsaicin specifically. 
As happened in Mexico with the mango or the banana (both originally Asian), in Asia and Africa, seeds of American chiles underwent transformations, some natural and most manmade, creating new varieties, such as the Rawit chili peppers from Indonesia.
From hybridizations, delicious chili peppers were created, such as Chile Poblano. This is my favorite variety, and it is available in the Netherlands for only a month in the entire year! That time is coming soon, so I am very excited to experiment with it. 
In Spain, a new variety was created by combining a bell pepper and chilaca, which was originally called "Chile Tornasol" in Mexico. Bih Jolokia, Scotch Bonnet, Trinidad Escorpión, Manzano, Carolina Reaper, etc. are all chili peppers created around the world, and the creators claim their origin, but they all invariably originate from the American chili. 
Today, cuisines like Thai, Ethiopian, Hungarian, Indian, and many more would not be the same without the contribution of America, and more specifically, of Mexico, without our king of the kitchen. 
Information is power, and the phrase "More Mexican than Chile" is in my opinion very correct. 


Marcela Rojas
El Metate

International Creative Women


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