Why would anyone grow chillies?
My colleague asked me this question once, when I told him I grew chilies at home. It is actually a good question. Why would anyone grow and eat anything that brings them pain?
People have eaten these fruits for thousands of years in South America. Columbus brought them to Europe and later traders brought them to Africa and Asia. Now every culture eats these hot fruits. Everyone knows what at chili is and they are grown everywhere.
I think the simple reason for its popularity is that it keeps food from tasting bad. Chili has a lot of vitamin C which is a natural preservation compound along with vitamin E. In fact, chilies have a lot more vitamin C than oranges and other citrus fruits.
Regular black pepper was only available to the rich. Since regular black pepper was not available to most people, the more easily grown chili pepper became the favorite of the people. Anyone can grow chili as long as the climate allows it and it is cheap.
The strong taste of these fruits is a trait that makes them impossible to ignore. Once you eat one, you will remember it. I think this is the reason why I started growing them. Once I ruined an entire dinner by adding far too much fresh chili. I had no idea what I was doing, and I ended up eating frozen pizza in stead. From that moment on I knew what a chili was.
A couple of years later, I accidentally came across some seeds, and I bought them because I was curious. They grew, and the following autumn I had ripe fruits in my living room. For some reason, it was very satisfying. Since then I have grown many different types.