Chile peppers are indigenous to the Americas. European explorers had a limited agricultural vocabulary and figured the spicy chiles they found in the Caribbean were a kind of pepper. Columbus and others brought chiles back to Europe. Chiles spread from there to North Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. Chiles are as diverse—and wonderful—as the people who grow them. Try Aleppo peppers in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern dishes. Chipotle and Jalapeño are great for Tex-Mex cooking. Try Tien Tsin in Asian stir fries.
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