How are sweet red peppers and red hot chili peppers related and What is a Mexican barbacoa?

The big, sweet fruits found on pizzas and salads and the long, skinny, mouth-burning peppers found in Mexican restaurants both belong to the genus Capsicum.

Both are native to Latin America.

Chili peppers are especially popular in Mexico, which is home to about two hundred varieties. Ground into powder or stirred into chili sauce, the peppers are part of many Mexican American dishes, including chili con came.

The English word “barbecue” comes from the Spanish word barbacoa, which in turn comes from an Arawak word.

A traditional Mexican barbacoa involves cooking a whole lamb or goat for hours in a pit lined with heated stones.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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