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Gourds and Tubers Series: Part 3 Some Like It Hot

Spicy roasted pumpkin seeds, recipes below
As part of  my Gourds and Tubers series lets talk about cooking with hot peppers. For example we know that long ago African women barbecued meats over open bits using lime or lemon juice and hot peppers. Women most often used the melegueta pepper which was also called the grains of paradise and Guinea pepper. They used it “fresh, dried, grated, or made into a paste added to sauces, stews, and soups,” foodways expert Helen Mendes tells us. Those from the Congo used the piri piri pepper. In the Mesoamerica people cooked with pimento or a cherry pepper derived from large red chili peppers (capsicum). Pimento arrived in Africa from the Americas during the Colombian exchange (dibias--traditional medicine men and women used pimento to cure upset stomachs) Africans introduced melegueta, Guinea, and piri piri peppers to the Americas during the African slave trade. All these variety of hot peppers became fully integrated into cooking across the Americas. Here some spicy recipes for that pumpkin in front of your house that you are about to discard.

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