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History of Capsicum Chili Pepper
It was black pepper, in particular, that inspired the great exploration of mankind in the Middle Ages, including the discovery of America. Black pepper introduced American and Eastern trade and played an important role in the early days of the United States. On June 23, 1672, the first American colonist participated in the spice trade: Boston-born Elihu Yale, who later gave his name and fortune to a famous university, arrived in Madras, India, as a clerk for the British East India. Company. There he found friends who made a lot of money by making spices. In 1780, Jonathan Carnes broke the spice monopoly in Europe by dealing directly with the East Indies and bringing pepper to Salem, Massachusetts. From 1799 to 1846, pepper, worth millions of dollars, was brought to Salem by brave Yankee skippers who started the American merchant marine.
Black pepper comes from the dried berries (called peppercorn) of the climbing vine. Its scientific name is Piper nigrum L. It has nothing to do with the cut pepper that gives us the sweet red and green peppers and the hot capsicum (chili) pepper.
When Columbus dropped anchor in the New World in search of spices, he found pepper and made two mistakes that we live with today. Thinking they were in India, they called the American citizens Indians. He also mentioned peppercorns, thinking they are related to black pepper, Piper Nigrum, which they are not. The pepper family is called Capsicum.
In the pre-Columbian tribes of Panama, the Shaman (spiritual) used Capsicum together with cacao and tobacco to enter the mind, to go to heaven or earth. Today, the Cuna Indians of Panama burn capsicum so that the irritating smoke will drive away evil spirits during a girl’s puberty ceremony. They also trail capsicum tips on the back of their boats to deter fishermen from attacking them, thus providing the first clue to how capsicum can be used as a shark repellent.
In southern Mexico and the Yucatan Peninsula, capsicums have been part of the human diet since around 7500 BC and thus their use dates back to two major civilizations in Central America, the Mayans and the Aztecs. From their initial use as a spice gathered from the wild, capsicums gained importance after their domestication, and were an important food when the Olmec culture was growing around 1000 BC By the time the Maya reached the peak of their civilization in southern Mexico and Yucatan. The peninsula, around 500 AD, had a highly developed agricultural system. Perhaps as many as thirty varieties of Capsicum are cultivated.
American wild peppers may have originated in present-day Bolivia via seed-dispersing birds, and eventually spread to Central and South America. Chilies were a big part of the old American diet. Ancient records in Tehuacan, Mexico southeast of Mexico City, show that wild pepper was eaten in Meso-America around 7000 BC, and was probably domesticated by 2500 BC For the Incas, pepper was one of the four brothers. of the creation legend, Agar-Uchu or Brother Chili Pepper.
Chilies were discovered when Spanish explorers came to the Caribbean. In the islands of the New World they found the skins of the red leaves that the natives used in cooking and as food bites. Peter Martyr, who came to America with Columbus in 1493, wrote that, There are innumerable varieties of Agi (the Indian name for poko pepper), its varieties are known for their leaves and flowers. Some were red, some yellow, some blue, some brown, some white. They were of all shapes and sizes. The only aromatic plants that Columbus found in the Western World, however, were capsicums: Aji, (capsicum pepper), which is more important than black pepper, and allspice or pimenta, a tree whose leaves had the best smell of cloves that I have ever seen. . met with, so wrote Dr. Diego Chanca of the trip to Columbus.
The Capsicum family became more evolved when researchers sent seeds to Europe. In a remarkably short time, the cultivation of Capsicum beans spread to almost all parts of the world. Also, in most places the pods have different characteristics in terms of shape, color, size and thickness.
The arrival of capsicum from the New World coincided with the invasion of the Ottoman Turks and led to its spread in Central Europe. The army of Suleyman the Great conquered Syria and Egypt in 1516-17, Yugoslavia in 1521, and Hungary in 1526. The year 1526 is the date that is usually given for the introduction of capsicum called paprika to Hungary by the Turks. During this war, a new crop came to the land of the Magyars. The Turks called it Turkey Pepper, the Hungarians called it paparka, a variant of the Bulgarian piperka, which came from the Latin piper, for pepper. The bright red powder that we know as paprika comes from the dried pods (fruit) of the plant species Capsicum annuum L. Likewise, it is part of the botanical group that comes from the sweet Bell pepper that we eat as green to very hot. of chilies. Hungarian scientist, Dr. Szent Gyorgyi, who received the Nobel Prize in 1937 for his work on Vitamin C, discovered that paprika pods are one of the richest sources of absorbic acid (Vitamin C).
Capsicums are any solanaceous (nightshade species) plant of the capsicum genus, such as C. frutescens, a common garden pepper that comes in many varieties from mild to hot, with bitter seeds enclosed in a bell-shaped pericarp. The word Capsicum is the name of a genus that includes twenty species and more than 300 species of plants that produce vegetable pots. The plant is part of the Solanaceae family which also gives us tomatoes and tobacco. The three most important species of Capsicum are Capsicum annuum, Capsicum frutescens, and Capsicum fastigiatum. In consumer terms, the Capsicum family gives us paprika and pepper.
Peppers come in many different shapes and sizes, although they all belong to the genus Capsicum. There are small ones, round and red, that grow in Mexico and the Southwest and are harvested by the millions every year for sale in the US market. Mirasol is a red pepper that, instead of hanging from the plant, grows vertically. Habaneros are green when unripe, and ripen to orange or red.
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