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“The fruit [of the Peruvian Uchu chile] is as indispensable to the natives as salt to the whites.” ‑‑Friedrich Alexander von Humboldt, 1814
For more than 10,000 years, mankind has been fascinated by a seemingly innocuous plant with bright‑colored fruits that bite back when bitten.Although the chile pepper has risen in our estimation from lowly weed to celebrity spice, the secrets of its domestication, its discovery by Europeans, and its subsequent spread around the world are still being uncovered. Often mistakenly thought to be of African or Indian origin, chile peppers are absolutely American; along with corn, squash, and beans, they are among the earliest plants domesticated by mankind in the New World. Read the entire article, “The Taming of the Wild Chile: Part 1, The Tolerated Weed.” here.