I remember the day clearly. I was in Malaysia, a place where chili peppers have a strong presence. The national dish – Nasi Lemak, chunks of beef slow-cooked for hours in a coconut milk-chili and spice mixture until it is soft, eaten with spicy peanuts and anchovies.
The Chili Pepper Map is an interactive way to learn about the history and journey of the chili, from South America to all around the world. This map will be updated often with new information, and will also trace my own journey to discover and tell the story of the chili pepper.
The regularly updated, interactive, embeddable Chili timeline shows, chronologically, the journey of the Chili Pepper from its wild origins, its early domestication in the Americas, to its global spread and usage today.
My story dates to my childhood memories of me in tears, forced to eat food far too spicy for my tongue (American food, though, would have the opposite effect – too bland). It was quickly ingrained in my mind that spicy food was an essential part of Indian culture.
"The story of the chili is a story about humanity and culture in its most basic form – the food we put in our mouth and how that food defines who we are."
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