History of chili peppers

Perhaps also noting what defines native species. Humans tend to liken themselves as something outside the natural order, which seems pretty arrogant.

Human trade is a natural dispersion just as much as a migratory bird eating a pepper, crossing an ocean and taking a dump. Realistically, its the exact same thing. Animals (including us), winds, water etc all disperse and eliminate species.

Then theres the thing about after how long does one call a naturalized species native? This is highly cultural and minimally scientific so its hard to really have a concrete answer on many species “original” distribution. That and the fact evolution is a process not an instant appearance. So we say jalapeno as if it just showed up in some mexican village without thinking of its millions of years of evolution from slimes to now. So i guess we can normally consider the thing in question to be that thing when its phenotype is distinctive and stable enough to replicate more or less when grown abroad. At that point, its place of origin is probably its native range.

And thats incredibly hard to prove over log periods of time, despite what academics may think,about themselves. We are still quite ignorant, there are seekingly countless variables, and every year that goes by adds trillions more variables. Its really fun talking to scientists that study evolution and taxonomy as in the almost every fact is in fact a good theory.

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Crikey. That’s a bit of a mental leap there. I’m just trying to shoehorn that into the context of chilis. Is this something to do with the idea that tasty food causes unnatural urges?

a burning sensation?

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It’s an example of something generally believed to have been brought back by Columbus possibly already being in Europe before 1492.

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Ah, gotcha. I thought you were referring to the common association between beer, curry, and a short course of antibiotics.

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It was originally called the French Disease.

Fun fact!

You’d think they would have written it down

Apparently, one of the issues here is the interpretation of the word(s) used for ‘pepper’ or spicy flavouring.

Blaming the French for everything clearly has a storied history behind it …

I thought we already have a thread on the Columbian exchange.

Anyway, there is a legend of Zhu Yuan-zhang the founder of the Ming dynasty, that whatever he says becomes true. In the legend, this power manifested from when he was a kid born to a poor family. When he was supposed to watch the buffalo, he took a nap instead and lost the buffalo. He returned empty handed, and when asked about where the buffalo is, he said “the buffalo was stuck in a rock.” Sure enough, when the owner went looking for the buffalo, he found it stuck in a giant boulder.

When he got older, he became a beggar, and had no possession other than a beat up umbrella. A touring monk hoping to gather people to rise up to the Mongols saw Zhu napping in the middle of a bridge, blocking people from getting across. At first he was angry and wanted to woke Zhu up and move him aside, but he noticed that Zhu was spread out and using his umbrella as a pillow, which looked like the character 天. Then Zhu tossed and put the umbrella across his belly, which looked like the character 子. The monk realized Zhu was destined to become the emperor and rallied people to fight under Zhu’s leadership.

Anyway, back to the Colombian exchange. One of the legend about what Zhu said in his youth was, one day Zhu was again slacking off and napping, he rolled onto some peanuts, back when peanuts grow above the ground. Zhu was known for having lumps on his head, and the hard peanuts made his head hurt and woke him from his nap. Zhu then told the peanuts angrily “why don’t you get out of the way and grow under the ground!” From then on peanuts grew underground.

Ok, the problem is historically Zhu Yuan-zhang lived from 1328 to 1398. Columbus wouldn’t have gotten to the Caribbean for almost a hundred years after Zhu’s death in 1492. Peanuts wouldn’t have been introduced to Asia for probably another 100 years after that.

The inclusion of peanuts probably dates when these legends were created.


There is an @hansioux story, then a long line of everybody else making some kind of noise.

It didn’t just happen in Colombia. :wink:

Thanks, fixed it. Thought something looked odd.

Apparently peanuts came from northwestern Argentina or southeastern Bolivia.

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I don’t think they invented it.


Yep, by the English and the Germans. The French called it the Italian or Neapolitan disease, the Islamic world called it the Christian Disease.

Moral of the story: don’t elect people with supernatural powers as leaders, because they’ll inevitably turn out to be spoiled, lazy brats.

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The French cleaning product Cif used to be called Jif in the UK because the marketing people were worried about the name.

Well the English called oral sex Frenching, and the French call flagellation “le vice anglais”. And then there’s Dutch courage, Dutch treat, Double Dutch …

It used to be “$100 for a lid”, but I guess the price has gone up.

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