Hot Peppers (Capsicum annuum and frutescens)
When he arrived in the Americas, Columbus found chile peppers to be the most commonly used spice by Native Americans. He named them "pimientos" after the black pepper he had hoped to find and bring back to Iberia. Hot peppers spread like wildfire across the globe: they were carried by the Portuguese to East Africa, India, and the East Indies. The pepper diaspora happened so quickly, and the peppers naturalized so well, that many cultures mistakenly believed the peppers to be their own native plants. Nowadays, hot sauces are essential ingredients to many ethnic cuisines. Hot peppers are very high in vitamin C and also contain vitamin A.
- To dry hot peppers (especially the long red ones), string them with needle and thick thread through the stems and hang them in a dry warm place.