This is how chilis got spicy (and why we love them so much!)
You probably already know that peppers are spicy. It’s probably reason number 1 why we eat them. Also because they are super tasty and because they can be used in many ways, but do you also know why the pepper evolved into the spicy version we know today? And have you ever wondered why it’s actually quite weird that we still eat them, despite their spicy qualities? It’s time to answer those questions.
How chilis got spicy and why we love them
Archaeological finds show that different population groups in America already ate and domesticated hot peppers 6,500 years ago. This makes it one of the oldest domesticated plants in America and even one of the oldest domesticated spices in the world. It all started in what is now Mexico and Central America, but now the peppers (and hot sauces of course) are shipped all over the world. But how did the pepper develop its spicy trick and why are we humans the only mammals who have learned to love it?
To go back to the beginning, we have to go back 10 to 20 million years in history, because according to researchers, that is when the substance capsicum (which makes the peppers spicy) has separated from the genes. This is said to have taken place in the North West of South America. So far our history lesson, because we hand over the baton to the lady below from PBS Eons. She explains in great detail how the pepper has evolved into something that we have come to love, while it was actually supposed to scare away mammals like us.
Well, that was our little lesson of peppers for the advanced. Hopefully you have learned from it like we did. Now it’s time to go back to enjoying the peppers. In hot sauce form ofcourse. Check out our immense offering of hot sauce right here.
Source: PBS Eons YouTube