They’re hot, spicy, delicious and usually require a downing of milk after. Chilis have been around for a long long time, and now scientists have recovered the whereabouts of the origin of chili pepper farming. Using ecological, archaeological and linguistic evidence, the birthplace of the hot fruit is…you guessed it…Mexico.
But to be more accurate, it’s central-east Mexico. This is where Capsicum annuum was first cultivated, and archaeological evidence has pointed to dates around 7,000 – 9,000 years ago.
The spicy plant is a popular agricultural product, providing an abundance of fruit and they’re pretty hardy as well, preferring the hotter temperatures, naturally.
It was widely thought that the origin of chili farming was in the north of Mexico. Scientists used ecological and archaeological evidence, and also linguistic – seeing where the first use of the word chili was described, and the data led them south, south east to be exact.
Paul Gepts, a plant scientist at the University of California said on Live Science:
“By tracing back the ancestry of any domesticated plant, we can better understand the genetic evolution of that species and the origin of agriculture — a major step in human evolution in different regions of the world.”
Fun fact: The heat of chilies is measured on the Scoville scale, with the hottest being the Carolina Reaper coming in at 2.2 million units on the Scoville (according to Guinness World Records).
That’s hot, like REALLY hot, like burn your insides to hell kind of hot, apparently.
Here’s some guys eating one: