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How the Chile Pepper Got Its Name

Our great American history finds Christopher Columbus on a long and arduous quest for spices. Food has long been a traditional and powerful reason to traverse the expanses of our world and different cultures. One of the great foods Columbus returned with was “aji”, or “child” as it is translated.

On his return to Europe, the “aji” was renamed the “Calcutta Pepper” by Leonard Fuchs, a German botanist who believe that Columbus had found India. And thus it began.

Also, interestingly enough, the original word for chile peppers in the Mexican Indian language, Nahuatl, is “chilli.”

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