“The fruit [of the Peruvian Uchu chile] is as indispensable to the natives as salt to the whites.” –Friedrich Alexander von Humboldt, Political Essays on the Kingdom of New Spain, 1814
“Chile, they say, is the king, the soul of the Mexicans–a nutrient, a medicine, a drug, a comfort. For many Mexicans, if it were not for the existence of chile, their national identity would begin to disappear.” –Arturo Lomelli, author of El Chile y Otros Picantes
“The extravagant use of red pepper among the [New] Mexicans has become truly proverbial. It enters into nearly every dish at every meal, and often so predominates as entirely to conceal the character of the viands.” –Josiah Gregg, The Commerce of the Prairies, 1844.
“A single drop of pure capsaicin diluted in 100,000 parts of water will produce a persistent burning of the tongue. Diluted in one million drops of water, it still produces a perceptible warmth.” —Science News
“The conquest is complete. Hot peppers have taken over the United States.” –Jake Page, writing in Hippocrates, 1987
“This plant (the Chiltepin), used ceremonially and privately, is thought to drive away approaching sickness. The man who does not eat chile is immediately suspected of being a sorcerer.” –a Tarahumara Indian quoted by Wendell Bennett in his book, The Tarahumara: An Indian Tribe of Northern Mexico.