This exhibit traces how cultivated peppers traveled from Central and South America to quickly make their way around the globe. A delectable display of pepper-based salsas, curries and spices highlight how peppers are key ingredients of signature dishes worldwide.

Dispersal of Chile Peppers

Trace the spread of peppers from its origin in Bolivia and Southern Brazil across the Atlantic to Europe and on to China; to Africa, Indian and Southeast Asia via Portuguese merchants.

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The Peppers We Eat

There are 22 known wild pepper species and 5 domesticated ones. Many varieties of each domesticated species developed in different areas as peppers were spread with the movement of people.

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Some Like it Hot!

The hotness of a pepper is measured by the Scoville Heat Scale, a series of “heat units” that range from 0 to 16 million depending on the pepper’s concentration of the chemical capsaicin.

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