For a huge number of people around the world, chili is a delicacy. However, most people have not stopped asking where this spice comes from. Chili is a fruit of plants that are part of the Nightshade family. To narrow it down, its genus is that of the most popular capsicum. Capsaicin and similar compounds mainly cause the “spiciness” that comes after eating it.
Surprisingly, the humans ate them from 7500 BCE. Recent studies show that they were first domesticated in the Americas, particularly in Mexico. Not surprisingly, Peru, a country in the Americas, would have the highest levels of diversity in terms of cultivation in the world. This is because most of the domestic species have been cultivated and consumed during the pre-Columbian period. Bolivia has the largest diversity of wild chillies in the world that are eaten.
That today Asia is a significant player in the chili sector can be attributed to trade in the past mainly by the Portuguese and the Arabs. It is important to note that it was a valuable asset because the Asian community embraced it very well. So well, in fact, it has become the world’s largest manufacturer of chilli from 2014 in relation to other players.
World production by country
As per 2014 world production statistics, the total of chilli based products was in the region of 33.2 million tons. This figure includes both peppers and fresh green chilli. As previously stated, the Asian region has dominated this production with nearly eighty percent of the world’s total production.
China tops the list producing around 16.1 million tons of chilli in 2014. To put it in perspective, China produced about 48% of total global production that year alone. Compared to the nearest competitor, Mexico, China produced at least five times the quantity produced by Mexico, which was a paltry 2.7 million tons.
The third was Turkey with a total production of 2.1 million tons. Closely following Indonesia with 1.9 million tons and then again with India with 1.5 million tons. This further puts into perspective how dominant Asia is. India is a curious case because 32% of 1.5 million tons produced was composed of dried peppers. This puts him at the top of the rankings as regards the production of dried chili in the world in 2014
Closing the highest list to the number six and seven positions, Spain and the United States have a production of 1.1 million tons and 0.9 million tons respectively. The case of Spain should not be alarming because of trade and obviously because of the spicy nature of their venerated and delicious cuisine.
China has dominated the market. One simple reason for this is its huge population that would amount to more people cultivating it. Other advantages, such as currency exchanges, also come from exporting the desirable fruit, although “hot”.
The main chili producing countries in the world
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