“I’m asked all the time, ‘Are chile-peppers a fad?’ Well, if they are a fad, they’ve been a fad for ten-thousand years – which is about how long human beings have been eating them.” (David Dewitt) Legend has it that the chile originally came from the anatomical unmentionables of the ‘First Man’ – who appeared at a festival sometime long ago in our mythical past. Understandably, many of the other people gathered at that same festival were, at first, very hesitant to sample the chile. But the ‘First Man’ persuaded them: ‘It will add much spice to your life!’ In short order, the people tried, and grew to love, the chile pepper. This marvelous anecdote may or may not account for the chile’s current wave of mainstream popularity (it is once again inspiring festivals). The myth does not, however, explain how the chile became a tool for fighting cancer, quelling insurrection, protecting wildlife, repelling microorganisms and bubbling up in countless other places where the story continues to develop, like a volatile recipe, getting spicier all the time.



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