The International Association of Culinary Professionals’ (IACP) Cookbook Awards took place this Sunday in Washington, DC. Dave’s Precious Cargo: How Foods from the Americas Changed the World was a finalist in the Culinary History category.
The most likely scenario for the introduction and spread of chile peppers into Africa south of the Sahara is as follows. Varieties of Capsicum annuum and chinense were introduced into all West and East African Portuguese ports during the 40 years between 1493 and 1533, with the introduction into West Africa logically preceding that of East Africa. The chiles were first grown in small garden plots in coastal towns by the Portuguese settlers and later by the Africans.