Origin of various food additives have been connected to Americas, but none like chili. Several ideas have come up as to the origin of chili, with some theories pointing to ancient Mexicans of Indian descent.
Other researchers have also attributed its origin to Spain, Portugal, Africa and South America as well as the United States. However, it can be proved that chili did not come from Mexico, since, according to the ancient Indian culture, they passed their practices from one generation to another, but none of them even depicted cultivation of chili.
Indians are known to love chilies and soup made from it, especially due to its health effects. Over the years, its use has spread all over the globe, and is now considered the world’s best concoction. This paper will try to provide a brief description on the history of chili (Stadley 1).
History of Chili
Chili is a concoction used to make hot and spicy soup. It can be used with meat, beans or other kinds of foods. Its use is estimated to have started many centuries ago, although there are still speculations as to whoever identified it first. Chili comes from chile, which is a pepper pod.
The most common debates that have risen about it have mainly focused on determining the best chilies. In this regard, each of the States has insisted that theirs is the best. The Portuguese are said to have led distribution of chili throughout the word. Their trade in Africa and India spurred spread of chili throughout the world. Southwestern Ecuador was cited by the archeologist as the most probable origin of chili peppers over 6000 years ago.
They also attest to the fact that this could have been the first crop to be cultivated in these regions (South and Central America). It was Christopher Columbus who named them peppers as they looked similar to the European peppers which were black and white (Pyramid Computer Service 1)
They were then introduced in Europe where their cultivations were mainly done in Portugal and Spain. This was only restricted to the monasteries in these areas. Due to the high cost of black peppercorns, monks cultivating peppers found it as an alternative. Their spread throughout the world is attributed to trade routes during these periods.
Chili got to Spain in 1943 through a physician known as Diego Alvarez, who in 1944, went on to document its medicinal effects. It then spread to Mexico from Spain since their colony was powerful and controlled trade routes in Asian region. This led to its spread in Asia, first to Philippines, then to India, Korea, China and Japan, among others. Other theories have also suggested that it first spread from Portugal to India and to the rest of the world.
Still others reckon that it entered the United Stated through Indians who lived on the southwest and also through Spanish missionaries. It then spread to Texas and then to all States. However, what comes out clearly is the fact that it spread through trade routes and from colonizers to their respective colonies (International Chili Society 1).
Several theories have come up to describe the origin and distribution of chili throughout the world. These theories meet at some stages, for instance, that chili peppers spread throughout the world via trade routes and spread of Christianity.
They also agree on the fact that Christopher Columbus was the first European to find chili. However, differences come in identifying the first people in the world to have used chili; they range from Indians, Ecuadorians, Spanish as well as the Portuguese. Nonetheless, what comes out clearly is the fact that it spread via trade and missionary routes (Laubsh 1).
International Chili Society. “History of Chili”. Chili cook off. 03.06.2011.03.06.2011. http://www.chilicookoff.com/history/ history_of_chili.asp
Laubsh, Nigel. “Everything You Wanted To Know About Chilli History – How They Circumnavigated The World”. Chillies-down-under.com. 04.03.2011.03.06.2011. http://www.chillies-down-under.com/chilli-history-world.html
Pyramid Computer Service. “The History of Chili”. Socastee Online. 10.01.2008.03.06.2011. http://www.socastee.com/chili/chili_history.html
Stadley, Linda. “History of Chili, Chili Con Carne”. What’s Cooking America? 11.02.2011.03.06.2011. http://whatscookingamerica.net/History/Chili/ ChiliHistory.htm