So from where does the peperoncino hail? Originally, the New World, where it has been cultivated for thousands of years. Christopher Columbus “discovered” the spicy pepper on his first voyage to America. He brought it back to Spain, and it quickly spread throughout Europe.
The botanical name for peppers in general is capsicum from the Latin capsa, meaning box, most likely a description of the pod, which resembles a container. The Italian word peperone comes from its spicy similarity to pepe, which refers to pepper (as in black). And to confuse matters further, the plural of peperone (pepper/sweet pepper) is peperoni. However, if you ask for a pepperoni pizza in Italy, you’ll get a pizza with bell peppers on it.
Peperoncino (chile, chile or hot pepper, chilli-British) is the diminutive of peperone.
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