A global, multimedia project to discover the untold story of the Chili Pepper, the world’s most used spice, and its unprecedented spread around the world.

What is Spicy Quest?

The Mystery

It started in Malaysia, a place where chili peppers have a strong presence, when I encountered a shock that would change my life.

The Project

Details on the project plan, research countries, and more.

Get Involved

Learn about the many ways to get involved with Spicy Quest.

Latest Posts in Spicy Blog

Chilies in the wild

How did a spicy fruit like chili evolve in the wild in the first place? What could possibly have lead to a plant deciding its fruit needs to burn and sting the taste buds of whoever is consuming it? Let’s start with chiltepins, formally known as Capsicum annuum var....

What Color are Chili Peppers?

When you’re at the store in search for some spice to add to your cooking, you’ll usually find sauces or raw chili peppers that come in green, red, orange or yellow. Do you pick a certain color that looks most spicy, and are you aware of the various flavors and colors...

Chilies and Pepper

One is from South America, the other, from India. One is usually black, the other, red, yellow, purple, and, most commonly, green. One is the most traded spice in the world, the other, the most consumed spice in the world. Despite these differences, their history is...

The Spiciest Cuisine in India

In India, it is known that South Indian cuisine is spicier than North Indian cuisine  which packs a punch in its own right. And within the south there is a (disputed) king, my mother's homeland, Andhra Pradesh. Light on sauces and butter, heavy...

Are Chilies Fruits or Vegetables?

Defined by its pungency, coming in many shapes and varieties, the chili pepper holds its secrets close to its heart. For example, how to categorize it? Are chilies fruits or vegetables? It is not on the food pyramid, but looking at what is, it seems, at first, clear...

Chilli, Chili or Chile? And what about Pepper!

I first thought they were "chilies." Right? Wrong. Well, not quite. Like its many uses around the world, the fiery capsicum (the scientific name) can be spelled, and said, in many ways. Google doesn't really help. Chilies brings up Chili's, the...

Where are Chili Peppers from?

When I first learned that Chili Peppers are not indigenous to Asia, I was shocked. How could this spice, so essential to the Indian cuisine that I grew up enjoying, not be from India? It is possible that there was once...Indian cuisine without...


Spicy Quest Map

The Chili Pepper Map is an interactive way to learn about the history and journey of the chili, from South America to all around the world. This map will be updated often with new information, and will also trace my own journey to discover and tell the story of the chili pepper.


The regularly updated, interactive, embeddable Chili timeline shows, chronologically, the journey of the Chili Pepper from its wild origins, its early domestication in the Americas, to its global spread and usage today.

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