Burt Wolf: What We Eat

Some Like It Hot: The Story of Chili Peppers

Episode Guide »
When Columbus set out from Spain his objective was to get King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella into the black pepper business. He believed that the islands he landed on in the Caribbean were off the coast of China. When the natives showed him chilies he decided to call them peppers and he had two good reasons. First, when it hit his tongue it felt like black pepper. Second and more importantly, he was getting paid to find "peppers" and so he did. This program looks at how the hot pepper spread around the world and changed the way we cook from China to India to Texas. We'll follow hot peppers into outer space, find out how they affect our brains, how they help to cure the common cold and how they may soon be used by pharmaceutical companies as the primary ingredient for 21st Century pain killers.

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