Chili pepper is the FRUIT of plants from the genus Capsicum of family Solanaceae, though many people consider them as vegetables in local parlance. Chili peppers are used as a food item as well as in medicine.
According to archeological surveys and evidences or fossils obtained from southwestern Ecuador, chili peppers were domesticated more than 6000 years ago, as one of the first cultivated crops in the Central America and South America. Some historical accounts show that chili peppers have been used in food preparations in the Americas since 7500 BC.
After Christopher Columbus found them in the Caribbean and named them ‘peppers’ because of their spicy ‘heat’ resembling peppers of the Piper genus known in his times in Europe, and he introduced them as a cultivar in Europe, gradually chilies spread to the rest of the world. Peppers were used for preservation of meat and as a food ingredient in European nations of those times and were very costly. There are historical evidences to show that because of their high cost chili peppers were used as legal currency in some countries.