Chili Pepper Roots
The original chili pepper plant, classified as a fruit, not a vegetable, hails from either Peru or Bolivia, depending on which anthropologist you ask, circa 7000 B.C. The tiny, pungent red fruit was most widely cultivated in Mexico, where it was deemed important enough to serve as currency as well as food. Seeds were carried by birds throughout Central, South, and southern North America. Modern Mexico still produces the greatest variety of chile peppers, about 140 types at last count.
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