It was not until the 15th and 16th centuries that cayenne and other chili peppers were introduced to the rest of the world. Christopher Columbus encountered them on his explorations of the Caribbean Islands and brought them back to Europe where they were used as a substitute for black pepper, which was very expensive at that time since it had to be imported from Asia. Ferdinand Magellan is credited with introducing them into Africa and Asia, continents that since have incorporated them not only into their cuisines but their pharmacopeias. While cayenne and chili peppers are now grown on all continents, today China, Turkey, Nigeria, Spain and Mexico are among the largest commercial producers.
PHOTO: Juicing Vegetables